New Delhi: US vaccine maker Moderna has offered to sell booster doses of its Covid vaccine to India, from January 2022 even as the government continues to hold negotiations with Moderna and J&J on the indemnity waiver.
At present, the talks involve the sale of almost 200 million doses. They include 50 million from Pfizer, 70 million from J&J (since J&J has a single-dose vaccine, that translates to vaccines for 140 million people) and another 50 million from Moderna.
The discussions, however, point to the supply of vaccines at a future date, which would mean that the shots may have little impact on India’s budget for anti-Covid shots that is currently estimated at Rs 45,000-50,000 crore.
The latest US offer that envisages around 8 crore shots for India would also be useful if it is delivered soon as domestic production is expected to rise steadily from August. The MEA spokesperson said he is still awaiting details of how many vaccines would be donated by the US in the first tranche of 25 million.
According to US officials, these would be either Pfizer, Moderna or J&J. The MEA official said that Bharat Biotech had sought emergency use listing (EUL) from the WHO for Covaxin, as has the Russian vaccine maker of Sputnik.
Questioned about Indians who had been vaccinated with Covaxin are reportedly facing hurdles in foreign countries, the spokesperson said the ministry “was working to protect the interests of Indians abroad. We’re taking up the issue with concerned governments.”