India should procure Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children: Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday sought procurement of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to inoculate children. This comes after the US pharma company sought fast-track approval for its jab in India. "Pfizer has told Indian authorities that its vaccine is suitable for everyone aged 12 years or above and can be stored for a month at two-eight degrees," sources said.
Some experts believe third wave will affect children
"We should procure this vaccine asap for our children," Kejriwal tweeted, citing a news story on fast-track approval sought by the company. The Delhi Chief Minister has been requesting the Central government to explore suitable vaccine options, citing the opinion of experts that a possible third wave of COVID-19 in the coming months may affect children.
Here is Kejriwal's tweet
We shud procure this vaccine asap for our children https://t.co/uObqQDmpn8— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) May 27, 2021
Pfizer has offered five crore doses to India
The Delhi government has also suggested that the Centre should vaccinate students and teachers if it decides to conduct Class 12 Board exams delayed due to the second wave of the virus. Pfizer, which has offered five crore doses to India between July and October, recently held a series of interactions with Indian government authorities.
Pfizer has shared data regarding efficacy trials and approvals
Pfizer has shared with authorities the most recent data regarding efficacy trials and approvals for its vaccine in various countries and by the World Health Organization (WHO). "The current situation in India, and across the world, is not business as usual and we must not respond to it with processes as usual too," a source quoted Pfizer as having communicated to the Indian government.
Indian government and Pfizer to address three key issues
Another source privy to the discussions said that following recent meetings between the Indian government and Pfizer's Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla, they have agreed to jointly work on three key issues to accelerate approval for the company's COVID-19 vaccine in India. The issues include procurement through a Central government pathway; indemnity and liability; and the regulatory requirement for post-approval bridging studies.