Moderna plans to launch its single-dose vaccine on the Indian market only in 2022, which is being negotiated with Cipla and other Indian companies, the source said.
Moderna expects to launch the same COVID-19 vaccine in India next year and is in talks with Cipla, among other Indian companies, with another US giant, Pfizer, ready to donate 50 million rifles by 2021 itself but demanding significant legal rest, including refunds, sources said Tuesday.
While Moderna has informed the Indian authorities that it does not have an overflow of syringes to be distributed in 2021, there is a limited chance that Johnson & Johnson will send its jabs from the US to other countries soon. Sources are aware of the negotiations.
Two high-level meetings led by the Cabinet Secretary were held last week on the obtinable of vaccines in the global and domestic markets. There was an urgent need to acquire jabs as the country exploded under the second unprecedented wave of COVID-19.
Currently, the country uses two ‘Indian-made jabs’ – Covishield and Covaxin – to vaccinate the billion-plus population and has used 200 million doses since launching the world’s most extensive vaccination campaign in mid-January. The third vaccine, evolved in Russia by Sputnik V, is approved by the government and is still in its infancy.
At the meeting of senior officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs, NITI Aayog, the Department of Technology, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health were present.
It was discussed that Moderna has no over-the-counter vaccines to be distributed in 2021 and that it plans to introduce its one-drug drug to the Indian market only in 2022, which is being discussed with Cipla and other Indian companies, a source said.
It has been found that Cipla is already interested in securing 50 million doses in Moderna by 2022 and has sought assurance from the central government regarding the stability of governance/policy management principles.
The Department of Health has also been asked to decide in advance on Cipla’s application regarding the support they need to purchase modern medicine.
In the case of Pfizer, the American pharma giant showed the availability of 50 million vaccine doses – 10 million in July, 10 million in August, 20 million in September, and 10 million in October – to be given to India in -2021 and that it will only work with the Government of India and the payment of vaccines will have to be made by GoI in Pfizer India.
The central government will make arrangements to continue to roll out adoption policies in the domestic market.
According to one source, with the issuance of policies in India, Pfizer has requested a refund from the Government of India, and a document has been obtained from Pfizer Inc.
In addition, Pfizer also sought some relief from the regulatory state, including relief from the need for post-accreditation testing and the dissemination of the requirement to test their vaccines in the CDL (Central Drugs Laboratory).
Given the company’s history, similar arrangements made with other countries in the world, and the current state of the epidemic, the general idea can be taken to protect the company by the government, officials said but warned that in the event of a decision to protect the company, similar requests could be made by other companies.
According to Pfizer, 116 countries around the world, including the USA, have signed a refund.
In addition, given that more than 147 million Pfizer doses have been distributed worldwide without significant reports of side effects, the idea of protecting the company needs to be taken to increase the availability of vaccines in India, officials discussed at one recent meeting.
It was suggested that a decision on the Pfizer Inc issue is taken early and that NEGVAC (National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of COVID-19) could hold a meeting immediately on these issues.
At a press conference on Monday, in response to a question on whether provinces could get immediate treatment in Moderna and Pfizer, Health Communications Secretary Lav Agarwal said, “Whether Pfizer or Moderna, at the Center level, I have been in contact with them.