Amid request of indemnity by domestic vaccine manufacturers, the Central government on Friday said that the issue of giving legal protection to Indian companies “is under watch” and no decision has been taken yet.
Replying to queries during the Health Ministry press briefing, NITI Aayog’s Member Health Dr V.K. Paul said: “The issue of indemnity has been brought up in the context of foreign company Pfizer with whom we are in engagement. In principle, they expect indemnity should be given.
“We have also checked with the nations and the World Health Organisation. They supplied the vaccine after indemnity was granted. Negotiation is on with that particular company and no decision has been made at the moment.”
About the request of indemnity by domestic vaccine manufacturers, Paul said: “For esteemed local manufacturers, it is an issue on which the government has a watch and there is no decision.”
Asked whether Pfizer will be administered to children in the country, he said: “We have to understand that the child cohort is not a small cohort. When we are talking about children aged between 12 and 18 years, we are talking about at least 13-14 crore population and to cater to them, we will need 25 crore doses. We have to make a decision taking everything into account like the availability of doses.”
“Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin trial will not take much time. Zydus’s vaccine could be an option as the vaccine is already tested on children. Zydus vaccine too will come for licence soon,” he added.