Serum Institute of India hopes for “same rules for all”, seeks indemnity

Serum Institute of India (SII), the Covishield maker has requested for indemnity from liability. As per reports, the company said to the government that all vaccine makers, whether Indian or foreign should be granted some protection. The vaccine manufacturers were not given any protection against legal action for any severe side effect by the government as yet.  The foreign vaccine manufacturer Pfizer and Moderna has put forth this phenomenon as a major condition for supplying in India.

Serum sources urged, “not just Serum Institute of India (SII), all vaccine companies should get indemnity protection against liabilities if foreign companies are granted it”. Serum sources further stated,” Serum is hoping that rules should be same for everyone”. Serum Institute of India is currently involved in trials for three new anti- Covid vaccine. Covovax, which is being developed in association with the pharma company Novovax is in its advanced trials. A single dose nasal vaccine, Codagenix is in phase 1/2 trials in the UK . SpyBiotech, a novel virus like particle vaccine is also in trials.

The sources related to Health Ministry, have informed on Wednesday that the other countries have granted this concession and “there is no problem” in granting indemnity or legal protection from any claims linked to the use of a company’s COVID 19 vaccine. The source went further to state, “If these companies have applied for Emergency Use Authorization in India then we are ready to give them indemnity”. “It is expected that they will be granted indemnity against legal proceedings along the lines of what has been allowed in other countries for Pfizer and Morderna,” the sources assured.

“Pfizer continues to remain engaged with the government of India towards making its COVID 19 vaccine available for the use in the government immunization program in the country. As this discussions are ongoing, we are unable to share any additional details at this time,” as stated by Pfizer’s spokesperson on Wednesday.

In the last month, VK Paul, the head of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration had said, “We are engaged with Pfizer and they have indicated the availability of a certain amount of vaccine in the coming months…and we are looking at what their expectations from the government are and they are looking at what our expectations from them are.” Dr. Paul added, “They have requested indemnity to all the Nations including the country of origin. We are examining this request and will take decision in the larger interest of people and on merits.”

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