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Moderna’s Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine In India Likely Next year; Pfizer Ready With 5 Crore Doses For 2021

Currently, the country is using two ‘made-in India’ jabs – Covishield and Covaxin to inoculate its billion-plus population and has administered 20 crore doses since launching the world’s largest vaccination drive in mid-January

As per the information furnished by Pfizer, around 116 countries in the world including the USA have signed the indemnification document

New Delhi: Moderna is expecting to launch a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine in India next year and is in talks with Cipla among other Indian firms, while another US giant Pfizer is ready to offer 5 crore shots in 2021 itself but it wants significant regulatory relaxations including indemnification, sources said on Tuesday.

While Moderna has conveyed to Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021, there are limited prospects of Johnson & Johnson exporting its jabs from the US to other countries in the near future, the sources privy to discussions added.

Also Read: Vaccines Found Effective In Combating Mutated Variants Of Coronavirus: Study

Two rounds of high-level meetings chaired by the Cabinet Secretary were held last week on the availability of vaccines in the global as well as domestic markets as it was felt that there is an urgent need to procure the jabs at a time the country is reeling under an unprecedented second wave of COVID-19 and a widening gap between supply and requirement.

Currently, the country is using two ‘made-in India’ jabs — Covishield and Covaxin — to inoculate its billion-plus population and has administered 20 crore doses since launching the world’s largest vaccination drive in mid-January. A third vaccine, Russian-made Sputnik V, has been approved by the government and is being used on a smaller scale at present.

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.

Also Read: Moderna Says Its COVID-19 Shot Works In Kids As Young As 12 Years

It is learnt that Cipla has already evinced interest in procuring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2022 and has requested confirmation from the central government in respect of stability in regulatory requirements/policy regime. The Health Ministry has also been asked to take an early decision on Cipla’s request regarding support required by them for procurement of Moderna vaccines.

In the case of Pfizer, the US pharma giant has indicated availability of 5 crore vaccine doses — 1 crore in July, 1 crore in August, 2 crore in September and 1 crore in October –for supply to India in 2021 and that it will deal only with Government of India and payment for vaccines will have to be made by GOI to Pfizer India.

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.

Also Read: COVID-19 Vaccines Highly Effective Against B.1.617.2 Variant That Was First Found In India, Says UK Study

Further, Pfizer has also sought certain relaxations in the regulatory regime, including relaxation in the requirement of post-approval bridging trials and dispensing the requirement of testing their vaccines in CDL (Central Drugs Laboratory). Taking into consideration the track record of the company, similar arrangements done with other countries in the world and the current pandemic situation, an overall view may be taken to indemnify the company by the government, officials said but flagged that in case a view is taken to indemnify the company, similar demands may be made by other companies. As per the information furnished by Pfizer, around 116 countries in the world including the USA have signed the indemnification document.

Further, considering that over 14.7 crore doses of Pfizer had been administered worldwide without any significant reports of adverse effects, a view needs to be taken to indemnify the company in order to supplement the availability of vaccines in India, officials discussed at one recent meeting. 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.

Also Read: Women Can Get COVID Vaccine Anytime After Delivery: Experts

At a press conference on Monday, 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.” “Also, the order book of both Pfizer and Moderna is full so it depends on their surplus that how much they can provide in India… they will come back to the Centre and we will help in facilitation to states, he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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