Exploring possibility for Covid vaccine imports to India, confirms Cipla
Multinational pharmaceutical company Cipla Limited on Tuesday confirmed it was working to import Covid-19 vaccines to India and said it is in the process of seeking clarity and guidance from the government for the possible roadmap for it. In a statement, the company said at this stage, no definitive terms have been finalised and hence it cannot comment further.
The statement came amid reports that Cipla was seeking fast-track approvals to bring Moderna’s single-dose Covid-19 booster vaccine into India expeditiously, and that it has requested the government for indemnification and exemptions from price capping, bridging trials and basic customs duty. It did not name the vaccine it planned to import.
News agency Press Trust of India on Monday reported that Cipla is close to committing over $ one billion as advance to the US major for the import of close to 50 million doses.
A government official confirmed the development while refusing to share more details of the planned deal. “The matter is being examined, and nothing has been decided as yet. The import as part of the deal, which if at all comes through, will happen only next year as their supply book is already packed for this year,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog, last week said the government was in talks with Pfizer after the company indicated that it had vaccine doses available. The government experts were examining the company’s request for providing indemnity against serious adverse effects following immunisation. According to people familiar with the matter, Pfizer is in a position to offer 50 million vaccine doses to India between July and October this year.