Johns Hopkins University honours Cyrus Poonawalla for developing affordable vaccines

BL Pune Bureau | | Updated on: May 23, 2022

SII’s vaccines has resulted in an estimated saving of 30 million lives globally

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University awarded the Dean’s Medal to Serum Institute of India (SII) Chairman Cyrus S Poonawalla for his outstanding work in developing and delivering affordable vaccines and contributions to the Indian biosciences industry.

The honor was presented during the School’s convocation ceremony on May 21, 2022.

Past award winners include social justice advocate Cheryl Dorsey, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Laurie Garrett and former Baltimore Health Commissioner Leana Wen.

“By founding the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune in 1966, Cyrus Poonawalla’s foresight has helped SII in achieving global leadership in terms of production with 4 billion doses annually. SII had partnered early on with UNICEF and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). Its measles vaccine supply to UNICEF and PAHO between 1990 and 2016 has prevented 22 million deaths,” said the SII in a statement.

“It is a proud moment for me to receive this prestigious award by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Over the years, our constant endeavour has been to provide high-quality vaccines with regular supplies, which ensure excellent immunisation coverage to children and families worldwide at an affordable and sustainable price points. This award is a motivation for SII to take up bigger challenges ahead and fortifies our objective of inclusive healthcare for all,” said Poonawalla.

A biotech company, SII has been working towards the ‘right of high-quality and affordable healthcare for children’ through immunisation for over six decades with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental organisations on universal vaccination to reduce childhood mortality.

By protecting more than two-thirds of the global infant population, SII’s vaccines has resulted in an estimated saving of 30 million lives, the statement added.

SII produces vaccines that protect against diseases such as polio, diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hib, BCG, r-Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Covid-19. SII is credited with bringing world-class technology to India, supplying the world’s cheapest vaccines to as many as 171 countries.

“During the devastating pandemic, SII brought international institutes and governments together to collaborate and build innovation-driven solutions. Through strategic foresight and at-risk manufacturing, SII produced 1.9 billion doses and supplied 1.65 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines worldwide. Fostering an R&D ecosystem of change and growth in vaccine development, SII has enabled equitable access for LMIC’s to life-saving Covid-19 vaccines, with a capacity to produce 250 million doses per month” the statement added.

Published on May 23, 2022
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