To address the shortage of Covid-19 jabs in the country, the government is exploring the possibility of boosting production of vaccines, including identifying manufacturing sites for indigenously developed Covaxin outside India, sources said.
The government also intends to take up the matter with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to step up Covaxin production.
It will also take up with Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and other vaccine makers the issue of granting voluntary licence to third-party manufacturers in India on transfer of technology basis.
These issues were discussed in an inter-ministerial meeting on May 18 to deliberate upon the options, including voluntary licence, compulsory licence and government use authorisation under the Patents Act, 1970, available to increase the availability of drugs and vaccines used for treatment of Covid-19.
The Ministry of External Affairs has also been asked to take up the matter with AstraZeneca, the maker of Covishield, to encourage them to grant more voluntary licences in India.
The MEA and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) will also prepare a roadmap to address raw material supply constraints for Covishield and identify the sources of raw material, sources said.
As for Pfizer vaccine, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to take up the matter with MEA, Niti Aayog and Law Secretary to prepare a status report on issue of indemnity and liability agreement being proposed by vaccine manufacturer, they added.
Nadda accuses oppn parties of lowering people’s morale
BJP President JP Nadda on Friday accused the opposition parties of “spreading misinformation” and dampening spirit of people about the Covid-19 vaccination. Nadda, who inaugurated nationwide Covid-19 help centres of the BJP Kisan Morcha here, referred to comments of some Congress and other leaders concerning indigenous Covid-19 vaccine and alleged they “jeopardised vaccination drive” and were now emphasising vaccination.