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Pfizer, Moderna Won’t Sell Vax To Us: CM

He said now the state government is hoping for a positive reply from Johnson & Johnson and manufacturers of Sputnik V

Since the first week of May, the Delhi government had set up vaccination centres for 18-44 age groups and around 400 centres were opened at government-run schools across the capital, but they are closed now.

The two states are among many across the country trying to procure vaccines after the Centre revised its policy on April 19 to allow the states to inoculate all adults 18 years or older, increasing the number of the beneficiaries without provisions for extra vaccine supplies.

In the afternoon, in a press briefing, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the Delhi government has reached out to Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson for vaccines, of which the former two have refused.

"Throughout 2020, the Centre directed the states not to independently procure vaccines, assuring them that the Centre would do so", a public health expert who requested anonymity told The Telegraph.

"The demand-supply mismatch shows the poor planning", said R. Ramakumar, an economist and professor of development studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

Kejriwal added: "We need vaccines".

Similarly, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that Pfizer and Moderna had conveyed to his government that they will not be able to directly sell vaccines but would only deal with the Centre.

Supply of the rest, it effectively said, would be the problem of individual states, triggering a potential bidding war and stand-off over vaccines, much like with oxygen over the past weeks.

At the time, Dr. Janet Woodcock, the acting FDA commissioner, said the expansion of Pfizer's vaccine authorization "brings us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy". "We have had talks with Pfizer and Moderna". Apart from state governments, Moderna has refused to do business with private players as well, he said. But only around 4 percent of the country's population of 126 million has received at least one vaccine dose.

Many health experts have said that India should have, during the second half of 2020, invested in vaccine procurement through advance purchase pacts just as other major countries - the United States, the UK, Brazil, among others - had done.

"Russia gave approval to its Sputnik vaccine in August a year ago and it started mass vaccination in December". We are only playing approval-approval here, whereas 68 countries bought Sputnik vaccines way before and started using them.

In addition to the United States, Pfizer's vaccine is also authorized for use in younger teens aged 12 to 15 in Canada and Algeria.

"Moderna has been approved by 46 counties but India has not given its approval".

Another issue - particularly for Pfizer - is that of legal indemnity, which can only be granted by the centre, meaning, as with regulatory approvals, the centre could torpedo any deal.

Overseas clinical trials have shown that the vaccine, which is recommended by the company for adults, had an efficacy rate of 66 percent for preventing moderate to severe COVID-19 and was 85 percent effective in preventing severe disease.

Side effects were mild or moderate with the most common being pain at the site of injection, similar to adults in the clinical trial a year ago.