The centre is in talks with foreign manufacturers and developers for the import of the vaccines from these countries. We have been in talks with Pfizer for them to exports the vaccine doses in India. As the risk for the third wave increases, there is a need for speeding up the vaccination drive.
India has been discussing the contract and clauses with the foreign makers. But the indemnity and liability clause is what makes things difficult. India does not want to accept all the clauses and conditions. Fortunately, the country is not dependent on foreign vaccines. The plan to vaccinate all the eligible adults of the country by December will not be hindered by this, said the head of the government's vaccine panel, NK Arora.
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He also shared that the clause is not the only concern. India will probably agree to all the terms of what they are getting in return is higher doses of vaccine, but that is not the case. If these makers are giving like 100 or 200 million doses, then we can think about it, but having to agree to all the clauses for such a small number of doses, is something we need to think about.
Just look at Pfizer and Moderna, for that matter. These two makers are offering really less. Pfizer is ready to give 70 million doses while Moderna is offering only 7.5 million doses. Compare this to the country’s population. These doses are not even enough for a small part of a small Indian city.
What is the Clause?
Dr. Arora called the indemnity clause a "huge barrier" and said, that is what is stopping us from making a deal with US vaccine producers like Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J. Explaining what these clauses mean, he added that it is a clause that the recipient country cannot sue these manufacturers in case anything goes wrong.
All these concerns and the number of doses are not even high. They are giving much fewer doses that it doesn’t feel worth it. But India did not make their vaccination plan while including the foreign vaccines as well. We are not dependent on the doses provided by them.