He informed that Pfizer has indicated its vaccines will likely be available in July.
This comes a day after government officials stated that if India enters into procurement deals with Pfizer, Moderna and J&J, then the vaccine supply will be further boosted. This will help the country realise its target of inoculating all adults by the end of the year.
As India deals with a crunch of vaccine supply, Pfizer and Moderna have demanded an indemnity bond that will exempt it from legal claims in case there are any adverse effects from the vaccine.
Although Pfizer has obtained legal protection in several countries, including Britain and the United States, India has not given any manufacturer of a Covid-19 vaccine indemnity.
Paul had said on 27 May that the government is still examining the American pharma company's request.
"We are examining this request and will make a decision in the larger interest of people and on merit. This is under discussion and there is no decision as of now," he had said.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier exempted specific trials of Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved by some other international regulatory bodies. This is likely to clear the way of foreign Covid-19 vaccines.
DCGI Chief VG Somani said in a letter that the decision will be applicable for vaccines that have already been approved for restricted use by the US FDA, EMA, UK MHRA, PMDA Japan or listed for Emergency Use by the World Health Organisation.
Engagement with govt
Pfizer stated earlier this month that it continues to remain engaged with the Centre towards making its Covid jabs available for use in the government immunisation programme.
"Pfizer continues to remain engaged with the Government of India towards making its Covid-19 vaccine available for use in the Government immunisation programme in the country. As these discussions are ongoing, we are unable to share any additional details at this time," a Pfizer spokesperson said.
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