The Centre will not buy COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, three government sources told news agency Reuters. This is mainly due to a jump in domestic output of more affordable and easier-to-store vaccines, the sources said.
As per the report, the Centre has also declined to meet the U.S. companies' requests for legal protection over any side-effects from the use of their vaccines.
"The government will not buy Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They are free to have private tie-ups after necessary regulatory clearances. But sovereign indemnity is clearly something we can't give," a source told Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has informed the Centre that it will be able to supply around 22 crore doses of Covishield in October as the Union government has announced resuming export of surplus Covid vaccines in the coming fourth quarter under the 'Vaccine Maitri' programme, official sources told news agency PTI.
In a communication to the Centre on Monday, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, said the firm has enhanced its production capacity of Covishield and it will be able to supply 21.90 crore doses in October to Government of India and private hospitals.
The Pune-based pharmaceutical company has enhanced the manufacturing capacity of Covishield to more than 20 crore doses per month.
"Starting from January 2021, we have supplied 66.33 crore doses of Covishield to MoHFW, Government of India in addition to supply of more than 7.77 crore doses to state governments and private hospitals till 19th September 2021 evening," Singh was quoted as saying.
Besides, of all the vaccine doses administered in the country, around 88.45 per cent are Covishield, around 11.44 per cent are Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and less than one per cent are Sputnik V.
Meanwhile, under the nationwide vaccination programme, more than 81 crore vaccine doses have been administered.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)