Serum Institute seeks indemnity from liability: sources

With Centre considering Pfizer, Moderna’s plea, firm hopes rules will be same for all

Updated - June 03, 2021 01:45 pm IST

Published - June 03, 2021 11:34 am IST - PUNE:

The Serum Institute of India's facility in Pune. File

The Serum Institute of India's facility in Pune. File

With the Centre favourably considering granting indemnity against legal proceedings to foreign vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna prior to their rollout in India, the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has also sought indemnity from liability, expressing the hope that rules would be the same for everyone, said sources on Thursday.

As per company sources, the Adar Poonawalla-led SII, which manufactures Covishield (the Indian name for the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab) vaccine, has reportedly conveyed to the Centre that all vaccine makers, whether Indian or foreign, ought to be granted the same protection (against the cost of compensation in the event of cases of severe side-effects).

“If foreign vaccine makers are given indemnity protection, then all vaccine firms in the country, not just the SII, must be given the same. We are hoping the same rules apply to everyone,” said an SII source.

SII seeks DCGI nod to manufacture Sputnik V

Besides Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine and Novovax’s Covovax, the SII has also applied to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture the Russian ‘Sputnik V’ Covid-19 vaccine in India. ‘Sputnik V’ is currently being imported by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.

According to reports, the Centre is apparently considering granting indemnity to vaccine manufacturing companies if they applied for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA). Till date, no Indian vaccine company has ever paid indemnity and neither has the Central government, the biggest vaccine user, done so.

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