'Proud': Adar Poonawalla's wife Natasha's message after taking Covid-19 vaccine
Serum Institute of India's executive director Natasha Poonawalla received the first shot of her company's Covishield vaccine on Tuesday. "Proud to take the jab. Only after thorough rounds of local and international clinical trials, #Covishield vaccines were deemed safe and effective," Adar Poonawalla's wife Natasha posted on Instagram with a photo of her getting the shot.
Serum Institute of India has also delivered the first batch of vaccines to COVAX- the global initiative, which will ensure equitable distribution of vaccines to poor countries.
"The #COVAX program ensures safe and equitable access to #COVID19 vaccines globally. After all no one is safe, until everyone is safe," Natasha wrote on Instagram.
Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla took the vaccine shot on January 16, when the country officially rolled out the vaccination programme. “I wish India and Sri @narendramodi ji 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," Adar had tweeted.
From March 1, India rolled out the second phase of vaccination making senior citizens and those above 45 years with co-morbidities eligible for vaccination. On February 26, Adar Poonawalla met Union home minister Amit Shah and briefed him about the vaccine capabilities of the country.
On Monday, as PM Modi took his first shot of Covaxin, the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, Adar congratulated PM Modi for leading from the front. "In the interest of protecting our nation, I would urge the public to get vaccinated at the earliest, whether it be Serum Institute's vaccines or any other vaccines being developed in India," Adar tweeted on March 1.
Serum Institute offered its vaccine to the government at a discounted price of ₹200 per vaccine. For the ongoing second phase, which is open for priority age groups, the Centre procured the vaccines from both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech and dispatched them to the states at no cost. Vaccination is free at government health facilities while private hospitals are allowed to charge ₹250 maximum for one dose, irrespective of whether it's Covishield or Covaxin.