After granting indemnity to Pfizer and Moderna, the AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria said it will boost Covid-19 vaccination for not just children but also adults. Earlier on Wednesday, the Health Ministry sources were indicated that the Centre may grant indemnity from liability to Pfizer and Moderna to speed up approvals for the vaccines in India.
A top official with the government has said there is no issue in granting indemnity to the two giants in India and the approval will be in line with the approach taken by US and other countries administering both vaccines.
On the Government of India granting indemnity for bridging trials for Pfizer, Dr Guleria said, it will help for not only children but adults also.
Amid reports that the Indian government may grant indemnity to Pfizer and Moderna to hasten the vaccination process in India, the Serum Institute of India on Thursday also asked for indemnity from liability, saying all vaccine makers, whether Indian or foreign, should be granted the same protection.
Indemnity means protection to vaccine makers from legal proceedings, which ensures they can’t be sued in India. No other vaccine maker in India enjoys this clause. However, Pfizer and Moderna have said they will export to India only if the transaction is with the Centre and the company is protected from legal cases.
While Pfizer and Moderna have raised the demand, the Serum Institute of India on Thursday said the same protection should be provided to all vaccine makers. Pfizer and Moderna, which are among the best shots in the international market and more than 90% effective, have been approved by more than 40 countries, including US and Britain.
Currently, there are two vaccines being used to inoculate people in India, the Bharat Biotech’ Covaxin, and the Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield which has been produced and marketed by Serum Institute of India. Russia’s Sputnik V availability, and other internationally approved vaccines are rumoured to be publicly made available as well.
While Covid vaccination drives have picked up pace in India, there’s still a long way to go before every eligible Indian is vaccinated against Covid-19. With the relaxation of norms, it is now being expected that many foreign contender vaccines, which have secured regulatory nods in respective countries will be allowed to be marketed in India as well.