Shah unveils book chronicling journey of SII’s Covishield from lab to people

NEW DELHI, Mar 21: A book titled “The Shield: Covishield” encapsulating the journey of Serum Institute of India in producing Covid vaccine ‘Covishield’, which has become a mainstay of the Union Government’s inoculation effort to wipe out the contagion, was unveiled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The coffee table book, penned by Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at Serum Institute, was launched on Sunday in the presence of Adar C Poonawalla, the CEO of SII — the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
The aim is to introduce the readers to the chronological journey of the Covishield vaccine from lab to people.
“Today met Hon’ble Shri @AmitShah Ji and discussed various matters pertaining to our new vaccine projects in India. During the meeting, he also unveiled a book ‘The Shield: Covishield’ written by our Director, Mr. Prakash Kumar Singh. Thank you for your valuable time and guidance,” Adar said in a tweet.
“The world’s largest and fastest vaccination campaign in India is the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of 130 crore Indians,” the book quoted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement.
In this effort, Covishield has been the good right arm of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.
SII chairman Dr Cyrus S Poonawalla thanked the prime minister and the Government of India for guidance and support.
“As a responsible vaccine manufacturer, we took the COVID-19 pandemic as a challenge and my son Dr Adar C Poonawalla played a key role in making the COVID-19 vaccine available for our country and world at large.
“It was a surprise for me when he decided to manufacture and stockpile Covishield at his own risk during an ongoing clinical trial. But, I feel proud that his decision proved to be right like always and because of his decision, we could launch Covishield on January 16, 2021, just after the Emergency Use Authorization,” Cyrus Poonawalla was quoted as saying in the book.
In the book, Adar C Poonawalla mentioned the arduous journey of producing the vaccine in meeting the expectations of the Government and the people.
“I collaborated with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to develop and manufacture Covishield. This journey was not an easy one and I spent many sleepless nights. My officers in Pune and Delhi relentlessly worked during this pandemic and their enthusiasm remained undeterred despite being themselves and their families infected with COVID-19.
“We left no stone unturned to meet the expectations of our government, our citizens, various countries and organisations as well as the media,” he stated.
On the occasion, Adar thanked Modi for his “guidance through the journey” and Shah for taking out his time for the event.
“My sincere thanks to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi Ji for his vision and valuable guidance throughout this journey because of which the world’s largest vaccination drive is going on successfully and our national flag is flying high in the world. I am thankful to Home Minister Amit Shah Ji for his kind support and guidance from time to time,” he said in the book.
He has also acknowledged the contributions of the Government of India, UNICEF, WHO, GAVI, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, doctors, and healthcare and frontline workers.
In the book he mentioned, “This pandemic posed tremendous challenges to the healthcare systems of the country and disrupted the economic and social stability of the world. I witnessed an equally unprecedented response and collaborative efforts of the government, public and private sector during this pandemic.”
Author Prakash Kumar Singh dedicated the book to the relentless efforts of Team Government of India, Team Serum Institute of India, scientists, frontline healthcare and frontline workers because of whom the world’s largest vaccination drive could be launched on January 16 last year.
Not just in India, Covishield has been supporting the government in its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme. The jab has been supplied to more than 79 countries so far in conformity with India’s philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (the world is one family).
According to the Union health ministry’s vaccine administration data, more than 150 crore doses of Covishield have been administered in India so far. (PTI)