The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday informed that CEO of Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla will be provided with Y category security across the country by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Speaking to news agency ANI, a government official informed on the condition of anonymity, "MHA has issued orders to provide Y category security on all India basis to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India. CRPF will provide security."

This comes after the SII's announcement to reduce the price of its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' from Rs 400 to Rs 300 per dose for states.

Covishield, one of the two COVID-19 vaccines used in India's COVID-19 vaccination drive, is being manufactured by SII.

"As a philanthropic gesture on behalf of Serum Institute of India, 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.

Earlier this month, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of SII, had asked the government for financial assistance to ramp up vaccine production.

Recently, the Centre announced that everyone above the age of 18 will be eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in the vaccination drive beginning May 1. Several important decisions were taken in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines being made flexible in Phase 3 of the world's largest vaccination drive.

(With ANI inputs)

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