The Serum Institute of India (SII), which manufactures the Covishield vaccine against the coronavirus disease, has sought indemnity protection against liabilities, sources said on June 2.
"Not just Serum Institute of India (SII), all the vaccine companies should get indemnity protection against liabilities if foreign companies are granted the same," sources said.
SII’s move comes after vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna requested security from legal proceedings. The government, however, is yet to take a call on it.
The government sources on Wednesday said that it is expected to grant indemnity against legal proceedings along the lines of what has been granted in other countries to Pfizer and Moderna.
If the vaccine manufacturing companies are granted indemnity, they would not be liable to compensate any individual who claims to have side effects after taking the COVID-19 vaccine shots. Instead, the government would be held liable.
Both Pfizer and Moderna were granted immunity from liability by the US court in December 2020.
A Pfizer spokesperson refused to divulge any details saying that discussions are underway with the government. "Pfizer continues to remain engaged with the Government of India towards making its COVID-19 vaccine available for use in the immunization program in the country. As these discussions are ongoing, we are unable to share any additional details at this time," the spokesperson said.
Pfizer, which is ready to offer five crore doses to India between July and October this year, has sought certain relaxations, including indemnification, from the Indian government. It recently held a series of interactions with government authorities concerning the same. Last week, the vaccine maker shared its recent data regarding efficacy trials and approvals for its vaccine in various countries and by the World Health Organization (WHO).
(With inputs from PTI)
(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)
First Published: IST