Tussle Over Indemnity
Pfizer's vaccine is taking a long time to get approval from the Indian government. The whole process is stalled over as Pfizer is asking the Indian government to sign the indemnity clause.
Pfizer has signed this clause with many countries. It gives them protection against lawsuits in case of any adverse effects of its vaccine.
In simple terms, the company would not be liable to pay any legal cost if there is any ill effect on the patients.
The approval from the Indian government is delayed over the issue of indemnity. By signing this clause, the company wants to get away from taking responsibility. It raises a few doubts over the credibility of their vaccine.
Sinking Consumer Sentiments
With the rising COVID-19 cases, consumer sentiments have also taken a hit. The consumption of daily groceries, electronics, and automobiles declined sharply in April compared to March.
Leading retail intelligence platform Bizom has said in its latest report that the FMCG market shrunk 16% in April. Consumer durables were the worst-hit sector as sales of refrigerators, air-conditioners, televisions and washing machines fell about 65%. Passenger vehicle sales also declined more than 10% in April over March.
The revival was strong in the March quarter with most companies reporting healthy sales. Yet, the trend started to decline from April onwards as COVID-19 cases started to rise. To make the matter worse, even rural markets - which remained resilient so far - are now succumbing to the rising number of cases.
The United States has supported India and South Africa's efforts of waiving the TRIPS Rights on COVID-19 vaccines. TRIPS stands for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.
The US made it clear in its statement that it believes in intellectual property protections. Yet, the waiver in the case of COVID-19 vaccines is necessary to support the efforts of ending this pandemic.
The US support will ease the global trade rules. And, more countries will be able to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
India, on its part, has duly appreciated the US’s decision. The relation between both countries had recently come under stress over the US' stance on the supply of raw materials and other medical equipment. But, this new development will help the bilateral tie between the US and India to get back on track.