The Union government has decided not to extend indemnity to vaccine makers – Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech – who have been authorised to release emergency-use vaccine, reported News18.
The two companies will be liable to pay damages and face legal action as a result of any problems with the vaccine, the media house quoted sources as saying.
The purchase agreement signed between the Government of India and Bharat Biotech India Limited (BBIL) states that “the company shall be liable for all adversaries as per CDSCO/Drugs and Cosmetics Act/ DCGI Policy/approval”.
Earlier, US pharma giant Pfizer had insisted on being granted indemnity by the Government of India, similar to the kind it got in the UK.
Notably, the UK government has granted a legal indemnity to Pfizer, protecting it from being sued.
News18 quoted a highly placed government official to claim that “extending indemnity was out of question”.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonwalla had urged the government to indemnify vaccine producers against legal battles. He had said that frivolous claims that are blown out of proportion may affect the confidence of people in general.
So far, it seems the government is not willing to give in to the repeated demand raised by both Serum and Bharat Biotech for legal protection considering the exceptional situation in which the vaccine has been rolled out.