India might need to wait a little longer for the Moderna vaccine to arrive and be a part of its arsenal in the battle against Covid-19. The government’s discussion with Moderna for including its vaccine in the country’s inoculation programme may continue till 2022 owing to the drugmaker’s supplies being fully booked for the current year, according to a report in The Hindustan Times.
Moderna company’s leadership has also shown interest in discussing the possibilities of producing its vaccines in India in the coming years, the report said.
The government has examined the agreements of indemnity of other pharma companies, such as the one between Pfizer and other nations, and has observed that such clauses are a part of purchase agreements as far as vaccines are concerned.
The government has also constituted a five-member team to handle the issues pertaining to procuring vaccines from overseas drug makers. The team headed by a NITI Aayog (Health) member also includes officials from other ministries such as external affairs, health, and legal affairs.
India’s arsenal of vaccines consists of SII-AstraZeneca-made Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik. So far 8,95,19,260 people have been vaccinated with both the doses, while 33,34,13,498 have received at least 1 dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Government plans to vaccinate its entire adult population by the end of the current year and it will require 1.5 billion doses to accomplish this mission.
Vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer have shown an efficacy rate of nearly 95% in protecting against Covid-19. It is known for a fact that their entry into India has been stuck on two factors: supply constraints and the indemnity clause.
A team of officials was constituted by the government on June 11 to tackle various issues related to procuring foreign-made vaccines. The ministry added that the team is in continuous dialogue with Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J over different matters pertaining to vaccine procurement.
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