The Centre has said that it is in talks with three global manufacturers including Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to supply coronavirus vaccines in the country. However, the manufacturers have said that they would be able to open discussions only in Q3 2021. The government said that nevertheless, over 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be available in India between August and December this year as per estimates given by the manufacturers.
Dr VK Paul, head of India's Covid-19 Task Force said, "We have contacted manufacturers and sought information on the availability of vaccine for August-December... In this period, 216 crore doses would become available in India. The vaccine will be made available for all as we move forward..."
Paul said that the government has 'formally' approached Pfizer, Moderna and J&J to provide doses to India. He said that the government also held a discussion with the companies. He said, "We told them that we would find partners and would assist them. We also asked them if they want to fill and finish."
The companies have, however, indicated that they do not immediately have free capacity and would be able to talk only after a few months.
"We have good relations but they have said that they are moving according to their plan; and on vaccine availability they said they will talk in Q3 (third quarter) of 2021," said Paul adding that the discussion has intensified and they hope that the companies will come forward to increase availability of vaccines in India.
Dr Paul also said that he hopes the three manufacturers might possibly transfer their technology to domestic manufacturers to increase availability of vaccines.
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