India offered 7.5mn doses of Moderna vaccine under COVAX program
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.
Moderna will be fourth shot to be available in India
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.
Consensus on the indemnity clause yet to be reached
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."
Discussions have not yet concluded: Dr. Paul
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.
India has put forth certain conditions for finalizing the contract
"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 Covishield, COVAXIN and Sputnik V
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.