Indian government will not buy Pfizer and Moderna vaccines amid local production


By Neha Arora, Krishna N. Das and Aftab Ahmed

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Indian government will not buy COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, three government sources told Reuters, mainly because domestic production of more affordable and easier to store vaccines has jumped https: // www.

This essentially means that the globally popular vaccines, which their manufacturers have pledged not to sell to private parties during the pandemic, will not be available at this time in the two most populous countries in the world – China and India. .

The Indian government has also refused to respond to requests for legal protection from U.S. companies regarding the side effects of using their guns, which are currently only manufactured in the United States or Europe, two of the sources said.

No company has received such protection in India.

“Previously there was a shortage, there was a need,” one of the sources said, referring to India’s April appeal to businesses for vaccines / world / india / india-shifts-mass -vaccine-exporter-importer-worrying-world-2021-04-16 when infections exploded and injections were scarce.

“Their price will be high. Why should we accept their terms? “

A second source said: “The government will not buy Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They are free to have private links after the necessary regulatory clearances. But sovereign indemnity is clearly something we cannot give.” .

A spokesperson for Pfizer in India said discussions were ongoing and he remained committed to bringing the vaccine to the country.

The company reiterated that “during the pandemic phase, it will provide the COVID-19 vaccine only to central governments and supranational organizations.”

Moderna and the Indian Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Moderna, through its Indian partner Cipla, already has emergency use authorization in India for its vaccine, which, like Pfizer’s, requires ultra-cold storage – facilities that much of the world lacks. ‘India.

Both vaccines cost several times more than India’s leading vaccine, Covishield, a licensed version of the drug AstraZeneca.

India’s monthly domestic production has tripled since April and will reach 300 million doses in October, according to Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, who on Monday announced a restart of Indian vaccine exports from the October quarter https: // inde / inde-resume-covid-vaccine-exports-next-quarter-2021-09-20.

However, the government is expected to purchase locally filled and finished doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Reuters reported on Monday.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das, Neha Arora, Aftab Ahmed; editing by Bernadette Baum)


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