New Delhi: The Central government on Friday informed that no decision has been taken on providing indemnity to Indian vaccine manufacturer companies yet.
"The issue of indemnity has been brought up in the context of foreign company Pfizer with whom we are in engagement. In principle, they expect indemnity should be given. We have also checked with the nations and the World Health Organisation. They supplied the vaccine after indemnity was granted.
Negotiation is on with that particular company, and no decision has been made at the moment," Niti Aaayog member health Dr VK Paul said.
Pfizer and Moderna had earlier requested indemnity to pick up the pace for vaccination in the country. Following this, the Serum Institute of India raised a likewise request for legal immunity, arguing that both Indian and foreign vaccine manufacturer companies must be granted the same protection.
"For esteemed local manufacturers, it is an issue on which the government has a watch, and there is no decision," Paul clarified.
Regarding the administration of Pfizer to children, he said, "We have to understand that the child cohort is not a small cohort. When we are talking about children aged between 12 and 18 years, we are talking about at least 13-14 crore population, and to cater to them, we will need 25 crore doses. We have to make a decision taking everything into account like the availability of doses."
"Bharat Biotech's Covaxin trial will not take much time. Zydus's vaccine could be an option as the vaccine is already tested on children. Zydus vaccine too will come for a licence soon," he added.
However, the DCGI had earlier granted a waiver to foreign companies from conducting bridging trials in India if approved in certain countries or if listed in the Emergence Use Listing of WHO, given that millions have already received it.