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Anand Mahindra calls Cipla-Moderna COVID-19 vaccine deal 'good news'; hopes for exemptions

Mahindra believes that a substantial supply of a variety of vaccines made around the world is "our only true defense against a third-- and all future-- waves"

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra

Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra hailed the deal between Cipla and Moderna to bring the latter's COVID-19 booster vaccine to India. Mahindra believes that a substantial supply of a variety of vaccines made around the world is "our only true defense against a third-- and all future-- waves."

Mahindra tweeted, "This is excellent news. I pray that the Government swiftly grants Cipla and Moderna the exemptions required. A copious supply of a variety of vaccines made by world-renowned companies like Cipla will be our only true defense against a third-and all future-waves.'


Earlier on Tuesday, pharma behemoth, Cipla sought fast-track approvals to bring Moderna's single-dose COVID-19 booster vaccine to India. The company further stated it is looking forward to the Centre's assurance to help it close the supply arrangement with Moderna expeditiously.

The Mumbai-based pharma major further added that it was close to committing around $1 billion (over Rs 7,250 crore) as advance to the US-based pharma giant for the same. Cipla has also showed interest to procure 50 million doses of the single-dose anti-COVID vaccine from Moderna in 2022.

"It is imperative Cipla brings Moderna booster vaccines to India urgently, having immediately made available the largest portfolio of COVID-19 drugs amongst Indian pharmaceutical companies, including a state-of-the-art cocktail of Casirivimab and Imdevimab," Cipla said in its letter to the government.

Cipla had requested the Centre for relaxations like indemnification and exemptions from price capping, bridging trials and basic customs duty.

While seeking indemnity for Moderna, Cipla cited US Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP) and similar programmes in the UK, Canada, EU, Singapore, and even the WHO-led COVAX, which protect vaccine manufacturers or distributors from claims and underwrite the compensation burden.

Besides this, Cipla also applauded the government for basic customs duty exemption on importing COVID-19 vaccines and urged that it should be extended till the entire year of 2022.

Edited by Mehak Agarwal; with PTI inputs

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