4 million doses of Pfizer, Moderna likely through COVAX by August

Indemnity issue to be settled to bring the two US vaccines through COVAX

Topics

Coronavirus Vaccine | Pfizer | Vaccination


Sohini Das  | 
Mumbai 

The global Covid vaccine collaboration COVAX says all participants in the facility must have signed the indemnity agreements with the manufacturers in question to receive doses through COVAX.

Before the Moderna and Pfizer messenger ribonucleic acid (or mRNA) vaccines come to India via this route, the legalities around the indemnity clause will have to be settled.

India is expecting 3-4 million doses of Covid vaccines from US majors Moderna and Pfizer soon, claimed Reu­ters. The international agency said around 3-4 million shots are expected in India through the COVAX facility in August.

COVAX, led by the Gavi vaccine alliance and the World Health Organization, is likely to ship US-made vaccine doses to India as early as this month.

Senior government officials, too, confirmed that procuring vaccine doses through COVAX is an option being actively considered. “Bringing Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through COVAX is one of the routes under consideration,” reiterated an official.

All doses delivered through COVAX are covered by its no-fault compensation programme.

A spokesperson for Gavi told Business Standard, “All facility participants must have signed the indemnity agreements with the manufacturers to receive doses through COVAX — this will also be true for doses received via bilateral deals.”

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The facility is helping facilitate the process of getting these agreements in place for lower-income economies, as required. “All doses delivered through COVAX to advance market commitment-eligible economies, donated or procured, are covered by the COVAX no-fault compensation scheme,” the spokesperson added.

Pfizer and Moderna had sought indemnity from legal liabilities for adverse events after vaccination. India has been discussing the issue with the two vaccine makers.

The Indian government is reviewing the legal provisions related to vaccine donations from global suppliers. Moderna vaccines have, however, already reached Pakistan and Bangladesh.

US President Joe Biden had annou­nced earlier that the US would share 80 million doses of its vaccines with the world. Apart from COVAX, the government last month cleared the way for importing Covid vaccines approved by international regulators, without bridging clinical studies. The vaccines will be made available through a tie-up with Mumbai-headquartered Cipla.

Cipla is supporting Moderna with regulatory approval for importing the vaccine to be donated to India, a company spokesperson had said. “At this stage, there is no definitive agreement on commercial supplies,” the spokesperson added. There are no updates on this, Cipla said on Wednesday.

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