Pfizer indicated to provide COVID-19 vaccine in July, requested indemnity against liability: Dr VK Paul

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NiTi Aayog member Dr VK Paul (Photo/ANI)
NiTi Aayog member Dr VK Paul (Photo/ANI)

By Sahil Pandey

New Delhi [India], May 27 (ANI): The Central government is in discussions with Pfizer as the American Pharmaceutical company has indicated to provide its COVID-19 vaccine possibly in July, informed Dr VK Paul, Chair of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration (NEGVAC) for COVID-19.

During a press briefing, Dr Paul said, "We are engaged with Pfizer as they have indicated the availability of a certain volume of vaccines in the coming months, possibly in July."

Dr VK Paul, who is also a NITI Aayog member, informed that Pfizer has requested indemnity against liability from all nations including their country of origin, the United States.

"They have requested indemnity against liability to all the nations, even the US. We are examining this request. We will take decision in the larger interest of people. It is under discussion but there is no decision as of now," he said.

Meanwhile, to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination production domestically, Dr Paul said that the manufacturers - Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India - are putting in significant efforts to increase their vaccine production capacity.

"Bharat Biotech is ramping up its capacity and we are expecting that it will reach 10 crore per month in the forthcoming months. It started with a capacity of 90 lakh per month. Similarly, Serum Institute of India is also ramping up its capacity from 6.5 crore to over 11 crore in the months to come," he said.

The NITI Aayog member said that India's Covid cases are on the fall and the trend will sustain if Covid-induced restrictions open up systematically.

"It is reassuring that we are on the downswing of the second wave, and it will be sustained if restrictions open up systematically as the time comes," he said.

Meanwhile, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary at the Union Health Ministry briefed that the overall COVID-19 related recoveries are now exceeding the number of positive cases being reported on a daily basis.

"The recovery rate has increased from 85.6 per cent to 90 per cent now, which is a positive indication. As many as 25 states have reported a decline in active cases since last week," Lav Agarwal said.

Speaking on the reports of vaccine mixing, Dr Paul said that cases of vaccine mixing being reported from Uttar Pradesh must be investigated. However, adverse effects are unlikely even if someone is given second doses of different vaccine, he added.

According to Lav Agarwal, the active Covid-19 cases have declined by 35 per cent from the peak.

As per the Union Health Ministry, in the last nine days, average 20 lakh tests have been done per day, while in last three days overall positivity rate has also been below 10 per cent. (ANI)

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