SSI founder Poonawalla to keep some vaccine aside for Parsis

Serum Institute of India (SII) founder Cyrus Poonawalla has consented to reserve 60,000 vials of the yet to be developed Covid-19 vaccine for fellow Parsis, according to Parsi Junction newsletter.

The newsletter cited that Poonawalla acceded to the request of former Bombay Parsi Panchayat (BBP) chairman Dinshaw Rusi Mehta, who asked for reserving atl east 60,000 dozes for the Parsi community in the first batch.

Mehta’s whatsapp message to Poonawalla in this connection reads: “We are a micro minority and every Parsi is required to be saved and healthy..At present, we are only 60,000 in numbers and 40 Parsis have died of Covid,”

Poonawalla’s son and SII CEO Adar too took to Twitter to say that ‘more than enough’ doses will be kept for the community. Reacting to a tweet from media entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, the younger Poonawalla said: “Our production capacity of just one day will be enough to cover every Parsi on the planet…given the size of our community.”

Serum Institute of India has partnered with AstraZeneca for manufacturing the Oxford vaccine candidate for Covid-19 . In an interview with ET last week, Adar Poonawalla had said his company, subject to regulatory approvals, planned to initially manufacture 70 million doses per month and then ramp this up to 100 million doses.