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COVID-19 vaccine: Serum Institute seeks indemnity against liabilities

This development comes a day after reports suggested that the Centre is leaning towards granting indemnity to foreign vaccine makers including Pfizer and Moderna

Serum Institute seeks indemnity Serum Institute seeks indemnity

Serum Institute of India whose, Covishield vaccine is currently being administered to citizens under India's vaccination programme, has sought indemnity against liabilities. This development comes a day after reports suggested that the Centre is leaning towards granting indemnity to foreign vaccine makers including Pfizer and Moderna.

According to a report by ANI, the Adar Poonawalla-helmed vaccine giant is seeking indemnity from the Centre. Sources told the news agency that if foreign vaccine makers are getting indemnity, then all Indian vaccine makers should get indemnity against liabilities.

Multiple reports had stated that like many other nations, India is also expected to grant indemnity to vaccine makers like Pfizer and Moderna if they seek the drug regulator's approval for emergency use authorisation (EUA).

Indemnity refers to exemption against legal liability for one's actions. ANI had earlier quoted a government source saying, "It is expected to grant indemnity against legal proceedings along the lines of what has been granted in other countries for Pfizer and Moderna vaccine companies." So far, India has not granted indemnity to any COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer.

Receiving indemnity might also encourage foreign vaccine makers to release their candidates in the country.

Meanwhile, the government relaxed norms for foreign vaccine makers by waiving off the requirement of testing of every batch by Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, as well as mandatory bridging trials. This clause was seen as a major impediment and delaying factor in bringing overseas COVID-19 vaccines to India. 

Also read: Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines likely in India soon; Centre may grant indemnity

Also read: Foreign COVID-19 vaccine makers exempted from local clinical trials, batch testing