The Government of India is in talks with major American vaccine manufacturers such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna for resourcing COVID-19 vaccine in the country said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on Thursday. The Centre is also in talks with the companies for locally manufacturing their COVID-19 vaccines in India amid shortage, the MEA said.
“We are in touch with major vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna about sourcing and possible local manufacturing of their vaccines in India. We have also helped to expedite the introduction of Sputnik-V vaccines,” said Bagchi.
Speaking at WHO’s ‘South-East Asia Regional Health Partners’ Forum on COVID-19, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla said, “India will participate in creating global scale capacities needed to deal with pandemic-scale challenges. For this, global conversations are underway with the G7, the G20, QUAD, BRICS, the UN and WHO itself.”
As vaccine shortages continue across various states in India, Pfizer on Wednesday said 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. Pfizer's statement came after the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) 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, India's pharmaceutical company Cipla has handed over its list of requests in order to bring Moderna's single-dose COVID-19 booster vaccine to India expeditiously. The company has requested the Centre for indemnification and exemptions from price capping, bridging trials, and basic customs duty, while stating that it is close to committing over USD 1-billion as advance to the US major, sources said on Monday as reported by PTI.
Praising the government's effort to ramp up the vaccine availability in the country for achieving effective protection against COVID-19, Cipla has said its discussions with Moderna on the COVID-19 booster vaccine are nearing finalisation and for that, they are seeking the 'partnership and support of the government to make this programme successful.'