Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who has been travelling extensively in the state during the pandemic, revealed on Friday that he had visited the Serum Institute of India in Pune twice and received an R triple BCG booster vaccine for increasing his immunity, as did his security personnel and staff. He was at pains to clarify that it was not a corona vaccine, as had been reported in a section of the press.
‘’It is true that my staff and I were vaccinated. It was not a corona vaccine but the R triple BCG booster shot, mainly used to increase immunity,’’ said Pawar. "I was vaccinated not once but twice. But not what you (the press and media) and people think, it was not the corona vaccine,’’ he explained.
Justifying the inoculation, Pawar said, as he travelled frequently and met people, he took the booster shot. The NCP boss and the founder of the Serum Institute of India (SII), Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, are good friends and Pawar is a frequent visitor to the institute, tracking the research and innovation in the manufacture of various vaccines.
Pawar’s explanation comes one week after the SII's CEO Adar Poonawalla had tweeted asking if the Centre had Rs 80,000 crore available over the next one year to buy and distribute the Covid vaccine in the country. Thereafter, the Union Health Ministry had said it strongly disagreed with Poonawalla’s statement and that the figure he had calculated was incorrect.