Pfizer, Moderna, J&J: When will foreign vaccines be available in India?

By | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh
May 28, 2021 08:17 AM IST

The Centre has clarified that while talks are on with Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, buying vaccine from abroad is not like buying "off the shelf" items as these companies too have limited supply and they have their preferences.

The Centre on Thursday reiterated that contrary to the common accusations of the government's "inaction" in buying vaccines from abroad, the Centre has held multiple rounds of discussions with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. Sputnik V vaccines from Russia have already arrived and are being administered.

Multiple rounds of discussions have happened with Pfizer, J&J & Moderna and the government offered all assistance to have them supply or manufacture their vaccines in India, the Centre said on Thursday. (AP)
Multiple rounds of discussions have happened with Pfizer, J&J & Moderna and the government offered all assistance to have them supply or manufacture their vaccines in India, the Centre said on Thursday. (AP)

When will the rest of the vaccines arrive? Here is all you need to know


US pharma giant Pfizer has already said it is ready to offer five crore doses to India between July and October this year. But it has emphasised that it won't deal with individual state governments and will only transact with the central government. It has also sought indemnity in India like it did in every other country where it supplied vaccines and the discussions are on over it.

"We are looking at what their expectations are from the government and they are looking at what our expectations are from them. That's the process in which this will move. Because they will have to come to India and apply for licensure in India, that's one path and there are imperatives of cold chain and supply," Niti Aayog (health) member VK Paul said.

Pfizer has informed the Indian authorities that its vaccine is highly effective, effective against variant found in India, and also on children aged 12 years.

Also Read: Govt pushes back on Covid-19 vaccine plan criticism


According to a PTI report, Moderna may launch a single-dose Covid-19 dose in India next year in association with Cipla. But it has already conveyed to the Indian authorities that it does not have vaccines to start the supply this year. Cipla is interested in procuring five crore doses from Moderna for 2020 and has "requested confirmation from the central government in respect of stability in regulatory requirements/policy regime", the report said.

Johnson and Johnson

India is exploring ways to secure Johnson and Johnson's vaccines for the Indian market as the US company is not likely to export its vaccines to other countries in near future, a PTI report said. One billion doses of the J&J vaccine will be manufactured in India by Hyderabad's Biological E under the Quad Vaccine Partnership, but those will not be for the domestic market, Hence, the government working on finding out ways to secure a part of those doses.

Reports said a speedy launch of Sputnik Light — a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine — is likely as the Russian manufacturer will file regulatory approval in a few weeks. It could become the first single-dose Covid-19 vaccine to be approved in India, a report said.

Buying vaccines from companies abroad is not like buying something off the shelf, Niti Aayog said on Thursday, clarifying that companies have limited supply and they also give preference to countries of their origin.

No application of any foreign manufacturer is pending for approval with the drug controller, the Centre said emphasising that it has eased the entry of vaccines approved by the World Health Organization and the regulatory bodies of the US, the UK and Japan. "These vaccines will not need to undergo prior bridging trials. The provision has now been further amended to waive the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries," it said.

(With agency inputs)

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