How an Indian horse racing dynasty became pivotal in the race to vaccinate the world

From his baronial boardroom in Pune, Adar Poonawalla can seem out on the beautifully manicured turf of India’s largest stud farm. About the a long time, the family’s racehorses have won the Indian Derby ten moments. These days, nevertheless, the thoroughbreds gambolling across the paddock beneath his window could be the very last issue on his mind.

As the planet gears up for a race to vaccinate billions of persons from Covid-19, the 40-yr-aged scion of India’s Poonawalla pharmaceuticals dynasty has emerged as a key participant. As chief executive of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s major vaccine producer by volume, Poonawalla’s factory 70 miles outside the house Mumbai has been managing at entire tilt, scrambling to deliver 50m doses per thirty day period of the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford vaccine which it is hoped will help carry the killer virus beneath command.

Indications of the pressures going through the firm drew into concentrate on Thursday when a hearth broke out at the website in a setting up that was beneath building, reportedly leading to five deaths. “We are deeply saddened and offer our deepest condolences to the family members members of the departed,” Poonawalla mentioned in a tweet.

Though the bring about of the blaze remains unsure and creation was unaffected, the tragedy has fuelled the escalating effect that SII is at the centre of an unfolding international drama.

Even just before the hearth, the strains had been obvious. Poonawalla claims: “Everyone has labored tirelessly for months on end… The true problem now is rolling it out to all the nations around the globe but also balancing our commitments domestically and understanding what my federal government [India] wants us to do. It is a great balance.”