Pfizer Can Send 5 Cr Vaccines To India, But Wants No Liability; Moderna Can Arrive By 2022

Moderna doesn't have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022
Moderna doesn’t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022

Moderna is expecting to launch to single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in India next year and is in discussion with Cipla and other Indian companies, according to news agency PTI. 

Meanwhile, Pfizer has refused to give vaccines to Delhi and Punjab but has hinted that it could give five crore vaccine doses to India in 2021 if the Centre agrees to its terms and conditions.

Why Moderna Doesn’t Want To Share Vaccines With India?

Moderna has conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021, there are limited prospects of Johnson & Johnson exporting its jabs from the US to other countries shortly, the sources privy to discussions added.

Officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, NITI Aayog, Department of Biotechnology, Law Ministry, and Health Ministry attended the high-level meeting.

It was discussed that Moderna doesn’t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022, for which, they are in discussion with Cipla and other Indian companies, a source said.

Moderna doesn’t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021.

But it instead wants to offer its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market in 2022, for which they are in talks with Cipla and other Indian companies, according to a source.

Procurement Of Moderna Vaccines

Cipla has expressed interest in procuring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2022, according to sources, and has requested confirmation from the central government on regulatory requirements/policy regime stability.

The Health Ministry has also been asked to take an early decision on Cipla’s request regarding support required by them for procurement of Moderna vaccines.

Pfizer Can Supply 5 Crore Vaccines To India In 2021

Pfizer, the US pharma giant has indicated availability of 5 crore vaccine doses — 1 crore in July, 1 crore in August, 2 crores in September and 1 crore in October –for supply to India in 2021.

However, it will only deal with the Government of India, and the GOI will be responsible for paying Pfizer India for vaccinations.

The central government will establish its arrangements for distributing vaccines purchased in the domestic market.

According to another source, for the supply of vaccines to India, Pfizer has asked for indemnification from the government and a document in this regard has been received from Pfizer Inc.

Pfizer has also requested regulatory relief, such as the elimination of the requirement for post-approval bridging trials and the dispensing of the necessity to test vaccines in CDL (Central Drugs Laboratory).

Pfizer Has Also Sought Certain Relaxations In The Regulatory Regime

Taking into consideration the track record of the company, similar arrangements done with other countries in the world.

Pfizer around 116 countries in the world including the USA has signed the indemnification document.

Further, considering that over 14.7 crore doses of Pfizer had been administered worldwide without any significant reports of adverse effects, a view needs to be taken to indemnify the company to supplement the availability of vaccines in India, officials discussed at one recent meeting.

It was suggested that a decision on the issue of Pfizer Inc may be taken at the earliest and that NEGVAC (National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19) may hold a meeting immediately on these issues.

At a press conference on Monday, in response to a question on states being unable to procure vaccines directly from Moderna and Pfizer, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal had said, “Whether it is Pfizer or Moderna, at the Centre-level, we have been coordinating with them.”

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