Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla has been accorded Y category security, news agency ANI said in a tweet. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued orders and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel will provide security to him, it added.
Reportedly, the decision came after Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, Prakash Kumar Singh had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on April 16 requesting security for Poonawalla.
In the letter, Singh had stated that Poonawalla has been getting threats from various groups regarding the COVID-19 vaccine supplies.
For the uninitiated, those accorded Y category security has one gunman for mobile security, and one (plus four on rotation) for static security.
Earlier, Adar Poonawalla announced that the price of Serum Institute of India's (SII) COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' has been reduced from Rs 300 per dose from the earlier Rs 400 to the states.
"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of @SerumInstIndia, 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," Poonawalla tweeted.
According to PTI, the Central government on Monday had asked SII and Bharat Biotech to lower the prices of their COVID-19 vaccines amid criticism from various states who accused the companies of profiteering during such a major crisis. The issue of vaccine pricing was discussed at a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) had earlier announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine, 'Covishield', for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.