Pune-based Serum Institute chief Adar Poonawalla will be provided “Y category” security across the country. The Union Home Ministry issued orders regarding this today after conducting a detailed threat assessment, sources said.
“Y category” security involves the presence of 11 security personnel – one or two of them commandos and the rest policemen.
Serum Institute has been much criticised after it announced the pricing of its Covishield vaccine to the states for the 18 to 45 age group – Rs 400 a shot, way above the Rs 150 price offered to the Centre.
The pricing has provoked anger and debate, with opposition leaders and many on social media demanding “One vaccine one price”.
Today, the Serum Institute announced a 25 per cent reduction in price for the states – Rs 300 instead of Rs 400.
The Serum institute chief had earlier said that the subsidized rate for the Centre was only for a “limited” period.
“The average price is around $20 (Rs 1,500)… (but) because of the Modi government’s request, we are providing at subsidised rates… It is not that we’re not making profits… but we are not making super profits, which is key to re-investing,” he had told NDTV.
“As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, I hereby reduce the price to the states from Rs.400 to Rs.300 per dose, effective immediately; this will save thousands of crores of state funds going forward. This will enable more vaccinations and save countless lives,” Mr Poonawalla tweeted today.