Pfizer, the US-based multinational Pharmaceutical company, has announced, it will supply the doses of its Covid 19 Vaccine "only through government contracts" in India. Private hospitals cannot procure the American giant's vaccines unless the centre or state government plans to sell the doses to their facilities.
Pfizer - The Vaccine On Demand
Pfizer, a vaccine developed in collaboration with BioNTech, had announced the decision when India had recently liberalized its procurement policy, allowing companies to procure and price the vaccines. Pfizer's spokesperson stated that while ensuring its commitment to making the vaccine available in India, they will prioritize the government orders for their vaccination drive programs "during this pandemic phase". "Pfizer remains committed to continuing our engagement with the Government towards making the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine available for use in the Government's immunization program in the country," the spokesperson said The Indian Express.
Enabling Pfizer To Immunize India
Pfizer has additionally offered to distribute its Covid 19 vaccines at a 'not-for-profit' rate to the Indian government for the immunization drive with the spurt in cases. "For India, Pfizer has offered a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government immunization program. We continue to be in discussions with the government and remain committed to making our vaccine available for deployment in India's immunization program," a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement that reported theBusiness Today. With the ongoing second wave enveloping the country, the government changed its stance at the beginning of this month. It has permitted vaccines with EUAs (Emergency User Authorization) in the US, UK, EU, and Japan, as well as those with WHO Emergency Use Listing, to attain approval in India for restricted use before conducting bridging studies. This was done to lure in more foreign companies for vaccines in India.
The government has also opened up vaccinations for people above the age of 18. With this change, 50% of the stock provided by the vaccine developers to the country could be sold to the states and the "open market" by private hospitals. As a consequence, the Serum Institute of India, which has been selling Covishield to the central government for Rs 150 per does on Wednesday, increased the prices and is now charging state government and private hospitals at Rs 400 and Rs 600, respectively.