In line with foreign vaccines asking for indemnity the Pune-based Serum Institute of India has also asked for a legal protection from liabilities from the Centre. Serum Institute is manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine Covishield which is being administered across in the country.
“Not just Serum Institute of India (SII), all the vaccine companies should get indemnity protection against liabilities if foreign companies are granted the same,” said sources.
A year ago, Pfizer-BioNTech was in discussion with the Government of India and had applied to the controllers for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of its vaccine. In any case, the discussions fell through when Pfizer demanded waiving the bridging studies and furthermore pushed for legal protection by means of indemnity.
However, the chief executive officer of the Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla had earlier said that indemnity was required to ensure smooth vaccination after the institute was served a Rs 5 crore legal notice in November 2020.
The complainant had alleged that he had suffered serious neurological side effects after volunteering in Covidshield trials.
The Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech has also raised need for legal protection in various internal meetings with the government but both SII and Bharat Biotech has not received any legal protection so far.