Health

Pfizer: Will supply Covid-19 vaccine only through government channels

The decision by Pfizer comes at a time when India has opened up its immunisation strategy, and allowed companies the option of charging states and private hospitals a potentially higher rate for their vaccines.

Pfizer has decided to prioritise orders from the government, and supply doses of its Covid-19 vaccine “only through government contracts” in India.

This may potentially mean that the American drug giant’s vaccine, developed with BioNTech, may not be available through private hospitals in the country — unless the Centre or state governments decide to sell doses to these facilities.

The decision by Pfizer comes at a time when India has opened up its immunisation strategy, and allowed companies the option of charging states and private hospitals a potentially higher rate for their vaccines.

While expressing the company’s commitment to making its vaccine available in India, a Pfizer spokesperson reiterated its decision to prioritise governments in their immunisation programmes “during this pandemic phase”.

The company would supply its vaccine “only through government contracts based on agreements with respective government authorities and following regulatory authorisation or approval”, the spokesperson said.

The statement by Pfizer came in response to queries by The Indian Express on whether the government’s decision to allow the sale of 50 per cent supply of a company’s Covid-19 vaccine “in the open market” impacted its plans for India.

The company was asked how many doses of its vaccine it would be able to supply, and what prices it would charge the central government and in the open market.

The company was also asked whether it had submitted a request for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in India, and when it expected to begin supplying the vaccine here.

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