Moderna’s Single-dose Covid-19 Vaccine In India Likely Next
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Moderna is expecting to launch a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in India next year. Another US giant Pfizer is ready to offer 5 crore shots in 2021 itself but it wants significant regulatory relaxations including indemnification, sources said. Moderna has conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021.

In the high-level meeting officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, NITI Aayog, Department of Biotechnology, Law Ministry and Health Ministry were present. It was discussed that Moderna doesn’t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022, for which, they are in discussion with Cipla and other Indian companies, a source said.

Cipla has already evinced interest in procuring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2022. It has requested confirmation from the central government in respect of stability in regulatory requirements. Pfizer has indicated availability of 5 crore vaccine doses for supply to India in 2021.

The central government will make its own arrangement for further channelization of procured vaccines in the domestic market. According to another source, for the supply of vaccines to India, Pfizer has asked for indemnification from the Government of India and a document in this regard has been received from Pfizer Inc.

It was suggested that a decision on the issue of Pfizer Inc may be taken at the earliest and that NEGVAC (National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19) may hold a meeting immediately on these issues. At a press conference, in response to a question on states being unable to procure vaccines directly from Moderna and Pfizer, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal had said, “Whether it is Pfizer or Moderna, at the Centre-level, we have been coordinating with them.”

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