Following Pfizer and Moderna, Indian vaccine manufacturer Serum Institue of India (SII) on Thursday, too has sought indemnity protection from Centre against liabilities, report sources. The company has allegedly urged other Indian vaccine manufacturers to seek similar protection. The Centre is allegedly expressed its inclination to provide indemnity from liability to Pfizer and Moderna to speed up its approvals in India.
Not just Serum Institute of India (SII), all the vaccine companies should get indemnity protection against liabilities if foreign companies are granted the same: Sources#COVID19 https://t.co/5AhaIjegyu— ANI (@ANI) June 3, 2021
On Wednesday, govt sources said that the “there is no issue” in granting indemnity to the US pharma companies as the approval was in line with th US govt's approach. Pfizer issued a statement that it continues to remain engaged with the Government of India towards making its COVID-19 vaccine available for use in the country's immunization program. DCGI has already exempted specific trials of COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by some other international regulatory bodies.
"Pfizer continues to remain engaged with the Government of India towards making its COVID-19 vaccine available for use in the government immunisation programme in the country. As these discussions are ongoing, we are unable to share any additional details at this time," a Pfizer spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, SII's move to seek protection comes days after a Lucknow-based man Pratap Chandra filed a complaint against SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and others alleging that he did not develop antibodies despite taking a Covishield dose in April. In the complaint, Chandra alleges that after taking the first jab, his platelet count reduced to 1.5 lakh from 3 lakh, as per an Antibody GT test he took. Naming DCGA director, Joint Secretary of Health Ministry Luv Agarwal, ICMR director Balaram Bhargava, National Health Mission director Aparna Upadhyay along with Poonawala, Chandra has claimed that he has become more prone to the virus.
While Lucknow police have registered the complaint, no FIR has been filed against the above-mentioned persons. In a recent interview to British daily 'The Times', Poonwalla has claimed that he was getting 'threats' from top industrialists, politicians and CMs regarding vaccine orders. Citing that he was 'under tremendous pressure', Poonwalla flew to London to 'to stay for an extended time' with his family, leading to an uproar in India amid a vaccine shortage. Later, Poonawalla clarified that he is scheduled to visit Pune shortly to review SII's progress after completing talks with UK partners in London. He currently enjoys 'Y' security by the Centre.