Maharashtra: NCP leader Nawab Malik claims French embassy procured 'non-permitted' Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister and NCP chief spokesman Nawab Malik has sought a clarification from the Centre and Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on whether it is okay for citizens to get Moderna vaccine in India.

“Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V are the three vaccines that are permitted in India by our government. According to information received by me, the French Embassy in India has procured the vaccine @moderna tx and is inoculating their citizens and their relatives at Navi Mumbai with the help of @ApolloHosMumbai,” Malik tweeted.

“Question arises how can a non permitted vaccine be allowed to be administered? If they can get it, why can't the Indian government get it for our citizens too. The government and the Health Minister @drharshvardhan must clarify.”

A health department official said “Currently, there is no clearance from the Centre to administer Moderna vaccine in the country. It is to be checked how it has been even used under diplomatic cover also for the family members of the embassy/consulate staff. The company has communicated to the Centre its hands are full and may not be able to cater to the needs of India at present.” He further stated that Moderna wants indemnity protection against liabilities before it brings its Covid vaccine to India.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government has been critical of the BJP-led Central government over the alleged shortfall in supply of vaccines required to inoculate the people of the state.

Commenting on Malik’s remark, BJP leader Pravin Darekar said, “There are no exact details available about his allegations. As per my information, every embassy has made provisions for Covid vaccines for its staff working here. However, the Maharashtra government, instead of taking care of its own people, is wasting time pointing fingers at such non-issues.”

“It shows the kind of sensitivity this government has towards its people,” Darekar said.

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