The controversial mRNA vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna have not yet been approved in India. India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya attended for the first time at the end of February public position and confirmed: Because the companies refused to accept liability for damage caused by their preparations, they preferred to use their own vaccines.
The vaccines Covaxin and Covishield, which are manufactured in India, were primarily used. Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine while Covishield is identical to the AstraZeneca vaccine Vaxzevria. Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson were also approved, where the manufacturers were more forgiving on liability issues.
Meanwhile, Pfizer and Moderna had made the Indian government a condition that they would only get their vaccines if a indemnity clause was signed. The companies did not want to be held accountable and prosecuted in the event of side effects and deaths from the vaccination. As is well known, the EU did not see a problem here – but in India they did. When Pfizer submitted an emergency use authorization application after the development of its Covid vaccine, the Indian drug agency requested a safety and immunogenicity study to obtain data on the possible risks of the vaccine. Pfizer did not comply: Man relied instead on permits, which one had received in countries like Germany or the USA. The Indian authorities were not convinced. When asked, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said it didn’t seem wise to comply with the vaccine manufacturers’ demands. Therefore, it was preferred to stay with the Indian vaccines.
This was undoubtedly a loss for the pharmaceutical giants: the Indian population is currently around 1.4 billion people estimated. The vaccination rate is currently knapp 57% specified. Confidence in the safety of your own product is likely to be low if you are closing yourself off from such a large market for liability reasons…