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Centre yet to decide Pfizer's demand for indemnity: NITI Ayog

Centre yet to decide Pfizers demand for indemnity: NITI Ayog

NITI Ayog member Dr V K Paul on Thursday said that the government is still examining the American pharma giant, Pfizer's request for indemnity against the cost of compensation for any severe side effects.

He informed that Pfizer has requested indemnity against liability from all nations including their country of origin, the United States and added that the decision on this would be taken in the larger interest of the people and on merit.

"They have requested indemnity against liability to all the nations, even the US. We are examining this request. We will take a decision in the larger interest of people. It is under discussion but there is no decision as of now," he said at a media briefing of the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) on Thursday.

The US-based vaccine maker has said it is ready to offer 5 crore doses to India between July and October this year but had sought relaxations including an indemnity in a series of recent interactions with the government on Wednesday.

India has not given any manufacturer of a Covid vaccine indemnity against the costs of compensation for any severe side-effects, which is a condition Pfizer has obtained in many countries where its shots have already been widely rolled out, including Britain and the US.

Meanwhile, Dr Paul said that the manufacturers - Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India - are putting in significant efforts to increase their vaccine production capacity to ramp up the Covid-19 vaccination production domestically.

India is currently using mainly two "Made in India" jabs -- Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute and Covaxin of Bharat Biotech -- and Russian-made Sputnik V at a smaller scale to inoculate its population, all of which are approved only for those aged 18 years and above.

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