Revealed: Why no foreign pharma firm could manufacture COVID-19 vaccine in India
Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine were seeing India as a big market.
For the first time, the Health Ministry has revealed why a foreign vaccine could never come to India. Moderna and Pfizer's vaccine were seeing India as a big market and both these American companies felt that India would never be able to vaccinate more than 136 crore population of their country without a foreign vaccine.
The reason behind this was the stubborn behaviour and money-mindedness of foreign pharma firms, said the Health Ministry.
“Major vaccine-making companies like Moderna and Pfizer perceived India as a huge market for their drugs and they never thought India would be able to vaccinate its over 1.16 crore population on its own, the Health Ministry said. However, India was not only able to make its own vaccine against the coronavirus, but export it to other countries as well,” it said.
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Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya made these revelations at the launch of a book on Friday. The book called ‘A Nation To Protect: Leading India Through The COVID Crisis’ has been penned by Priyam Gandhi-Mody and is an account of the government and people of India dealing with the notorious virus and its inflictions. The book was launched by Mandaviya along with Professor Shamika Ravi (Economist) and Dr VK Paul (member of NITI Aayog).
In a follow-up discussion moderated by Zee News editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary, who was managing the book launch event, asked the Health Minister why no foreign pharma company was able to manufacture a COVID vaccine in India to which Dr Mandaviya made the above observations. Up until now, the Health Ministry has been giving only diplomatic answers to this query, but for the very first time, the Union minister elaborated on the issue.
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“The Indian government wanted foreign companies to set up manufacturing plants for their vaccines on Indian soil, but none of them were willing to do so. Moreover, they wished to impose a number of terms and conditions for supplying their jabs to India. So it was a hard decision for India to go for fully indigenous vaccines, but we were able to do it and do it successfully,” the minister added.
The two vaccines, which have been prominently used to inoculate Indian population during the three waves of pandemic — Covishield and Covaxin — both have been manufactured here only. The Centre has allowed two more foreign vaccines — Russia’s Sputnik and Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine — both of which are being made by Indian pharma companies.
(Source: Zee News, DNA and India.com)