US companies ask for various regulatory waivers from India, Pfizer does not want to give compensation to anyone on loss from vaccines.
Indians struggling with the second wave of Corona are not going to get the benefits of Corona vaccines from American companies right now. Sources said on Tuesday that Moderna, a single-dose corona vaccine, is expected to reach the Indian market next year, while another US giant, Pfizer Inc, said it would give 5 crore vaccines this year if it gets some regulatory exemption. These exemptions also include a promise not to force the company to pay compensation if the vaccine is harmed.
Johnson & Johnson also does not currently have additional vaccines. In such a situation, the possibility of giving the vaccine to India or any other country other than America is very less shortly.
Sources said that the Moderna company is currently in talks with Cipla and several other Indian companies regarding the availability of their vaccines in India. Moderna has informed the Central Government about not having additional vaccines to give to India in the year 2021.
However, Cipla has tied up with Moderna for the purchase of five crore vaccines in 2022 and has sought permission from the central government for this. The application of Cipla has also been supported by the Union Ministry of Health, but so far the Central Government has not decided on it.
According to sources, Pfizer Inc will deliver 1–1 crore vaccines in July-August this year, 2 crores in September and the remaining one crore vaccines to India in October. The company will deal with these vaccines not to any Indian company or the state government, but only to the Government of India. But the regulatory exemption sought by the company is coming in the way.
However, in the meeting of the High-Level Committee of the Central Government, an official has said that Pfizer has so far entered into agreements with 116 countries, including the US, for exemption from not giving compensation on vaccine losses. So far, 147 million doses of Pfizer have been used globally and no ill effects are reported anywhere. Sources say a meeting of Negvac (National Expert Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Management) can be called to decide on Pfizer’s demand.
Increasing concern, high-level meeting twice a week
Sources say that there has been a high-level meeting twice last week under the chairmanship of the Cabinet Secretary on the availability of vaccines in the global and domestic markets, in which the impact of the second wave of coronavirus epidemic and the supply and need of vaccines at present given the growing gap between, immediate vaccine procurement is considered a necessity.
However, no final decision has been reached in both these meetings. So far, more than 200 million doses of ‘Made in India’ Corona vaccines ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’ have been given to the general public, while Russia’s Sputnik-5 has also been approved for emergency use and its Production has also started in India. But given the large size of the country’s population, the production level of these three vaccines is being underestimated.