Pune: After foreign vaccine manufacturers, the Serum Institute of India has now asked for indemnity from liabilities arguing that both Indian and foreign makers must be granted the same protection.
SII produces Covishield and is involved in trials for three new vaccines against Covid, namely Covovax, Codagenix and SpyBiotech.
Though Pfizer and Moderna had requested indemnity, the government has not yet given any manufacturer indemnity. However, the DCGI did grant these companies waiver from conducting bridging trials if approved in certain countries or if listed in the Emergency Use Listing of the WHO, given that millions have already received it.
Sources from the health ministry had said on Wednesday that there is no problem in granting indemnity if these companies have applied for Emergency Use Authorisation, as other countries have done likewise. Pfizer and Moderna have been granted indemnity from legal proceedings in other countries, including the US, meaning that they shall not face legal proceedings for any severe side effects. Pfizer spokesperson refused to add additional details in light of ongoing discussions.
"We are engaged with Pfizer, and they have indicated the availability of a certain amount of vaccine in the coming months, possibly starting in July, and we are looking at what their expectations from the government are, and they are looking at what our expectations from them are," VK Paul, the head of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration had said last month while adding that they would take a decision on the matter based on the larger interest of people.