The Centre has said that while there are discussion going on with Pfizer, Moderna & J&J, buying vaccines from abroad isn’t like buying "off the shelf" things. These companies have a limited supply & have their preferences. On Thursday, The Centre recapped that contrary to the accusations of government's operation in getting vaccines from abroad, the Centre help several rounds of discussions with Pfizer, J&J and Moderna. Sputnik V vaccines from Russia have been already delivered and are being administered to.
But when will the foreign vaccines actually become available for Indian citizens?
Pfizer – US pharma giant Pfizer already said it’s ready to offer 5 crore doses to India in between July & October this year. It’s been accentuated that it won't deal with individual state governments. It’ll only transact with Central Government. It has also asked for guarantee in India like it did in every other country where it has supplied vaccines. Discussions are on over the same. A member of Niti Ayog said, "We are looking at what their expectations are from the government and they are looking at what our expectations are from them. That's the process in which this will move. Because they will have to come to India and apply for licensure in India, that's one path and there are imperatives of cold chain and supply.” Pfizer said to Indian authorities that its vaccine is highly effective & is effective against the variant found in India, and also on 12 year old children.
Moderna - According to a report from PTI, Moderna may launch a single Covid dose in India next year in association with Cipla. It has already been conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have vaccines to start supplying in 2021. The report said, Cipla is interested in acquiring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2020.
Johnson and Johnson - India is exploring new ways to get Johnson & Johnson's vaccines for Indian market as the US Company isn’t likely to export its vaccines to other countries in near future, according to a PTI report. 1 billion doses of J&J vaccine will be manufactured in India by Hyderabad's Biological E, under the Quad Vaccine Partnership. Those are not for domestic market. Thus, the government is working on finding out new ways to get a part of these doses.
Reports said a rapid launch of Sputnik Light,
a single-dose Covid vaccine, is likely as the Russian manufacturer will file regulatory approval in a couple of weeks. It could become the first single-dose Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in India, according to a report. Niti Aayog clarified on Thursday that, buying vaccines from foreign companies is nothing like buying something off the shelf. These companies have limited supply & they also give preference to countries of their own origin. The Centre did say that no application of any foreign manufacturer is pending for approval with the drug controller. It has eased the entry of vaccines approved by World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies of the US, the UK and Japan. It said that - "These vaccines will not need to undergo prior bridging trials. The provision has now been further amended to waive the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries.”