Sunday, November 10, 2013
At Serum Institute,
HRH Prince of Wales takes an update on MMR vaccine
maiden visit to the city, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker
Bowles on Sunday made a special stopover at the Serum Institute of
India. While the Prince of Wales interacted with scientists and senior
officials at the manufacturing facility, plants globally, the Duchess
of Cornwall paid a visit to the legendary Poonawalla stud farm.
Charles attentively listened to the staff, asking questions about
pneumoccocal and MMR vaccines and was impressed with the research and
"It has taken a lot of effort and various trips to the UK following which
Prince Charles agreed to visit the institute. Perhaps our work in saving
children's lives was close to his heart and he agreed to make this private
visit to our facility," said Adar Poonawalla, Executive Director, Serum
Institute of India.
"While there is no collaboration yet, we are already working with several
UK-based agencies (working in the field)," he added.
Adar Poonawalla and his father Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, the chairman of
Poonawalla Group, introduced Charles to the representatives of key
agencies that Serum has been working with. More than 10-12 senior
scientists and directors, including S R Mundra, S S Jadhav, S Ravetkar, R
Dhere, M Phadke and others, explained to Charles the work done at the
Charles took special
interest in the immunisation vaccine against measles, mumps and
rubella (MMR). In the UK, it had been a subject of controversy after a
paper was published on its side-effects.
However, subsequent scientific studies showed the MMR vaccine was
safe. Charles wanted to know whether children were getting vaccinated
against MMR in India, scientists told Newsline.
Charles also met representatives of Rotary International Deepak
Shikarpur and MCCIA president S K Jain, enquiring about the 'zero
Posters depicting the institute's work, such as the MenAfriVac vaccine
that has helped Unicef address the meningitis epidemic in sub-Saharan
Africa, were displayed at the hall. A major project at the institute
has been the rotavirus vaccine, the phase III trials for which are
currently on. A standalone pneumococcal vaccine and a vero cell rabies
vaccine are in the late stages of development here.