Serum Institute of India seeks indemnity protection against lawsuits
Serum Institute of India (SII) has sought indemnity protection against prosecution or lawsuits arising from any adverse effects for people taking its Covishield vaccine.
Its demand comes at a time the Union government is considering giving such a relief to Pfizer as it looks to quicken the vaccination process in the country.
The Centre, which has come under severe criticism for the slow progress of inoculation, expects to vaccinate one billion people by the end of this calendar year.
Mumbai-based firm Cipla, which is looking to bring Moderna’s vaccine, has also sought such an indemnity.
An ANI report quoting SII sources said that not just the company but all vaccine makers should get indemnity protection against liabilities if it is granted to overseas firms.
Niti Aayog member (health) V. K. Paul had recently said that Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be available in India from July. The pharma giant could supply around 5 crore doses between July and October, but it has harped on indemnity as a major requirement.
Though the Centre has not yet announced whether it will give such a protection to the vaccine makers, observers expect it to grant the relief given the current demand supply gap in vaccines. Countries such as the US, Japan, the European Union and Canada have also granted an indemnity.
SII has recently communicated to the government that it will be able to supply 10 crore doses of Covishield in June, up from the earlier capacity of around 6.5 crore in May.
Meanwhile, the company has also sought the approval of the Drug Controller General of India to manufacture the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine.