In a huge confidence booster, Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla also took a life-saving jab of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by his company, here on Saturday.
Joining lakhs of people in the country who got vaccinated against the coronavirus on the inaugural day of the vaccination drive, Poonawalla posted a video of him rolling up his sleeve, and taking an injection from an administrator, looking straight, without flinching, at an unidentified location this afternoon.
Later, he tweeted: “I wish India & (PM) Narendra Modiji great success in launching the world’s largest Covid vaccination rollout.”
“It brings me great pride that Covishield is part of this historic effort and to endorse its safety and efficacy, I join our health workers in taking the vaccine myself,” Poonawalla added, in reassuring words, as his video went viral.
In the past few weeks, SII has been busy as a bee, manufacturing millions of Covishield life-saver doses for India and the rest of the world, most of it reeling under the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown since the past around a year.
Till date, the world’s largest vaccine producer has supplied over One crore Covishield doses to the Indian government which are now being administered to the priority groups shortlisted by the Centre in the inaugural phase launched on Saturday by the Prime Minister.
Of these, Maharashtra – the worst-hit state in the country in terms of infections and fatalities – has been given 9.63 lakh doses of Covishield, including around 1.40 lakh for Mumbai city.
The SII has developed Covishield in collaboration with AstraZeneca and Oxford University, and the vaccine has now been in a big way in the Indian vaccination program targeting over 3-crore people that got underway on Saturday.