Snippets from UK: Sajid Javid happy with Poonawalla’s £50m ‘booster shot’ for Oxford

Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), led by Adar Poonawalla, has pledged £50 million to Oxford University to set up a research campus. file photo

A roundup of what’s making the news right now, from the dilemma of choosing the right vaccines to counter Omicron to the alarming rise in UK cases.

  • Wisden India Staff London
  • Last Update:December 17, 2021, 11:16 pm IS
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‘Great news’: British Health Secretary Sajid Javid is apparently pleased with Adar Poonawalla’s decision to earmark £50 million to set up a research facility in Oxford named after the family of the head of the Serum Institute of India (SII). Javid termed it as ‘great news’. The money will be used to set up the Poonawalla Vaccine Research Building to be used by the Jenner Institute.

Bets on Pfizer and Moderna: Adar Poonawalla has expressed more confidence in vaccines developed by the Oxford Center than in the British government, which has ordered 120 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna for boosters instead of AstraZeneca. Vaccines such as AstraZeneca’s vaccine, such as Covaxin, are also likely to have limited success against Omicron. This leaves India with an expensive alternative to Pfizer for boosters. Or, with the option of hoping for the best.

Omicron vs Covaxin: The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, is not proven to be effective at all against omicron mutations of the virus. A double dose of this vaccine is as bad as no vaccination before Omicron. AstraZeneca is the preferred vaccine widely used in India as Covaxin. It’s everyone’s hope that Omicron doesn’t prove to be serious and then spread.

Skyrocketing cases: Britain’s alarming rise in the number of cases being reported daily is sure to spark new daily gasps in the next few weeks, but not for much longer. This is because the recording system cannot count more than a million in a day; The numbers are expected to dissolve by New Year’s Day. If the current rate of increase continues, the whole of Britain will be infected by early next month. There’s no stopping Omicron; We can only see where it stops.

High tide in the job market: Tide, a UK-based commercial financial platform, has announced that it will hire over 600 technical professionals in India over the next five years. This represents about 60 percent of the company’s hiring plans. India is the company’s first international market. The company will additionally hire over 1,000 professionals for its Indian operations based in Hyderabad.

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