US biotech firm Moderna says it is in talks with Indian firms like Cipla and expects that it would launch a single-dose COVID19 vaccine in India next year.

According to a media report, Moderna has conveyed to the Indian authorities that it does not have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and there are limited prospects of Johnson & Johnson exporting its jabs from the US to other countries in the near future..

The report said two rounds of high-level meetings, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, were held last week on the availability of vaccines in the global as well as domestic markets.

India currently is using two jabs — Covishield and Covaxin — to inoculate its population and has administered 20 crore doses since the launch of the vaccination drive in mid-January.

The Indian government has also approved a third vaccine, Russian-made Sputnik V which is being currently used on a smaller scale.

It has been reported that the high-level meeting was attended by officials from the Union external affairs, NITI Aayog, department of biotechnology, law ministry and the health ministry.

During the meeting, it was discussed that Moderna doesn’t have surplus vaccines to share in 2021 and that it plans to launch its single-dose vaccine for the Indian market only in 2022, for which, they are in discussion with Cipla and other Indian companies, a media report quoted a source as saying.

It is learnt that Cipla has already evinced interest in procuring 5 crore doses from Moderna for 2022.

The report said Cipla has requested confirmation from the Indian government in respect of stability in regulatory requirements/policy regime.

The Union health ministry has also been asked to take an early decision on Cipla’s request regarding support required by them for procurement of Moderna vaccines.

According to the Union health ministry, India has crossed a significant landmark in its fight against COVID19 pandemic on Tuesday.

The country has administered more than 20 Cr (20,04,94,991) Vaccine Doses as per the 7 pm provisional report on Tuesday.

A total of 9,42,796 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine on Tuesday and cumulatively 1,28,74,546 across 37 states/UTs since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

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