GOI in talks to get foreign vaccines, here’s when they will arrive

As the second wave of coronavirus cases began to spread across the country, the Modi government has been on a backfoot, facing great criticism for among other things, its vaccine procurement policy. It has been accused of not placing orders in time like various countries around the world. However, the government has said that it has been in talks with major vaccine developers like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson since mid-2020. Dr. VK Paul, head of India’s Covid-19 task force, said in defense of the government, “We need to understand that buying vaccines internationally is not similar to buying ‘off the shelf’ items.”

Amidst the controversy, here’s a look at the status of the arrival of various vaccines from around the world in India:-


the m-RNA vaccine maker has been in talks with the government for quite some time. However, it has put many conditions before supplying its vaccines including pre-orders, advance payment and invocation of indemnity clause- which would shield the company from any lawsuit in case of an adverse reaction to vaccination. The company has also made it clear that it will only talk with the Centre with regards to vaccine procurement. In response to the demands, Paul said, “We are examining the request (of indemnity) and we will take a decision in the larger interest of people and on merit.”

Pfizer has offered five crore doses to the Indian government of which 1 crore each will be supplied in the months of July, September & October and 2 crores in the month of August.


US-based pharma company Moderna has made it clear to the government its inability to supply any vaccine in 2021. However, the company may launch a single-dose vaccine in 2022 in India for which it is talking with many Indian firms like Cipla. Sources have said that Cipla is interested in getting 5 crore vaccine doses from Moderna and has requested the government to provide a stable regulatory framework for the same.

Sputnik Light:

While the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine has already been launched in the country, the government is also hoping for a quick launch of Sputnik Light which only requires a single dose. According to news agency PTI, the Centre has asked the Russian manufacturer and its Indians partners to fast track the regulatory requirements needed to approve the vaccine. An application for regulatory approval of the Russian vaccine could be filed as early as in the next two weeks.

Johnson & Johnson:

India is also exploring the single-dose Covid-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson(J&J).  Under the Quad Vaccine Partnership, Indian firm Biological E will manufacture one billion doses of J&J. However, all these doses are meant for the foreign market.


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