India offered 7.5mn doses of Moderna vaccine under COVAX program
(Sourced from PTI)
India has been offered 7.5 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX global vaccine sharing program, but it is not clear when the jabs will arrive in the country as a consensus on the indemnity clause is yet to be reached, sources said. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine was granted emergency use authorization by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) last month.
Notably, India's drug regulator, DCGI, has reportedly allowed the pharmaceutical firm Cipla to import Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna's mRNA vaccine will be the fourth shot to be available for use in India. It is over 90% effective.
The government last week had said that it is working actively with vaccine manufacturer Moderna to see how its vaccine can be made available in the country. According to a source, "There is no clarity so far when the shots would be available in India as the talks are still on and a consensus on the indemnity issue is yet to be reached."
On the availability of Moderna vaccine in the country, NITI Aayog member (Health) Dr. VK Paul had said on Friday, "To and fro (talks) are going on over the contractual specifics. Discussions have not yet concluded." "We are making efforts as to it happens at the earliest. We are now expecting to hear from them anytime," he added.
"Currently, the manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccine have to respond to some of the points we have made and we will take it forward," Dr. Paul had informed. According to the sources, the Indian government has put forth certain conditions for finalizing the indemnity clause contract and has sent it to the US drug manufacturer for their perusal.
India is currently using the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine (labeled Covishield in India), Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, and Russia's Sputnik V in its COVID-19 vaccination drive. Noticeably, on June 1, India had waived testing of batches at the Central Drugs Laboratory for foreign-made vaccines that have already been approved by the US FDA, the United Kingdom's MHRA, or the World Health Organization.