US pharmaceutical company Pfizer on Monday said that it was presently holding discussions with the Indian government and was hopeful to bring its supply of Covid-19 vaccine to the country soon.
“Pfizer's discussions with the Government of India are ongoing and we are hopeful to bring the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use in the country,” the company said in a statement.
As reports of the company refusing to deal with local governments for vaccine supply continues to do rounds, Pfizer clarified that it would supply vaccine doses directly to the central governments and supra-national organisations for the deployment of its vaccine to other countries.
It also said that the allocation of doses and implementation plan within a country was a decision for the local governments.
“Pfizer will supply Covid-19 vaccine only to central Govts and supra-national organistations for deployment in national immunisation programs. Allocation of doses and implementation plan within a country is a decision for local governments based on relevant health authority guidance,” the company said in a statment, reported ANI.
The Union health ministry said that the Centre was coordinating with vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna in two ways – approval and procurement. Based on the companys’ replies, the Central govermment will decide on allocation of vaccine doses to statement, said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry.
“We're coordinating with (Pfizer and Moderna) on central level in 2 ways – approval and procurement. It depends on surplus how much they can provide to India. They’ll come back to GOI, will ensure and facilitate. On that basis we may able to supply to states,” Agarwal said.
The announcement comes after a few Indian states including capital said that foreign vaccine manufacturing companies such as Pfizer and Moderna declined to sell coronavirus vaccines to the state government as they want to directly deal with the Centre.
Earlier during the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that Pfizer and Moderna had declined to sell their coronavirus vaccines to the city government as they wanted to directly deal with the Centre. “We have had talks with Pfizer and Moderna. They said they won’t give us vaccine and will directly talk to the Centre,” Kejriwal told reporters.
Kejriwal’s remarks came a day after a senior Punjab official said Moderna had refused to send vaccines directly to the state government stating that it only deals with the Centre.
On Sunday, Punjab’s nodal officer for vaccination Vikas Garg reportedly said that Moderna had refused to send vaccines directly to the state government stating that it only deals with the Centre. According to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s directions, all vaccine manufacturers were approached for direct purchase of Covid vaccines including Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, Garg said.