Compulsory licensing for COVID vaccines not very attractive option; tech transfer is the key: Paul

·2-min read

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) Compulsory licensing for COVID vaccines is not a very attractive option since it is not a 'formula' that matters and other aspects like sourcing of raw materials and training of human resources also need to be taken into consideration, Niti Aayog Member V K Paul said on Thursday.

Paul, the Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC), noted that technology transfer is the key and that remains in the hands of the company that has carried out R&D.

The government has faced criticism from various quarters over the shortage of COVID vaccines amid the country grappling with rising infections.

'Compulsory Licensing is not a very attractive option since it is not a 'formula' that matters, but active partnership, training of human resources, sourcing of raw materials and highest levels of bio-safety labs which is required,' he said.

'In fact, we have gone one step ahead of Compulsory Licensing and are ensuring active partnership between Bharat Biotech & 3 other entities to enhance production of Covaxin,' Paul said, adding that a similar mechanism is being followed for Sputnik.

On vaccinating children, Paul said, 'as of now, no country in the world is giving vaccines to children' and that the World Health Organisation has no recommendation on vaccinating children.

'There have been studies about safety of vaccines in children, which have been encouraging. Trials in children in India are also going to begin soon,' he said. However, Paul noted that vaccinating children should not be decided on the basis of panic in Whatsapp groups and because some politicians want to play politics. 'It has to be a decision taken by our scientists after adequate data is available based on trials,' he pointed out.

Currently, three COVID vaccines are used in India -- Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Russian-made Sputnik V. So far, these vaccines are approved only for those aged 18 years and above. PTI BKS RAM

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting