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Centre to Release 14Cr for Manufacture of Sputnik V- Delhi HC

Though, India was expected to play a pivotal role in global efforts to immunize against COVID-19, India failed to do so due to its poor planning of vaccination dose circulation within its own country. Now, where, almost every person is facing the problem of vaccination due to the shortage of supply in regards to demand, will India be able to gain back confidence of Indian citizen to immune themselves against this deadly virus?The Serum Institute of India, and Bharat Biotech, are the two major and prime vaccine producers in India, producing AstraZeneca vaccine and COVAXIN, respectively. We noticed with surge in COVID cases and vaccine drive announced by India Government for the adult group of population from May 1, there arose an acute problem of vaccine shortage as not enough vaccines were produced by India by this time. So far, Indiareceived just 231,322,417 shots, including 10,000,000 as a part of COVAX, a worldwide initiative aimed at providing equitable access to vaccines. Just 4,38,70,568 people have got both doses of their vaccines, while 16,18,50,092 have just received the first shot.While, Delhi High Court, directed Central Government to release an amount of 14 Crores along with the interest of 12% to Panacea Biotech for manufacturing Sputnik V subject to the condition of receiving permission from respective authorities to manufacture it in India; a division bench comprising of Justice Manmohan and Justice Najmi Waziri ordered thus: “The release is also subject to the undertaking given by Panacea Biotec that 20 per cent of the sale proceeds will be deposited by it with High Court Registry”.The court said in the order that its prima facie finds no justification for the Central Government to insist on bridge trials for domestic manufacturing of Sputnik-V by Panacea Biotechwhen same is not taking place when it is imported from outsideto India. Court advised Centre to consider Panacea Biotech’s application for emergency use and authorization. In its previous course of hearing, the Court had pulled up the Centre for not utilizing the vaccine manufacturing capacity that India has. In case of public emergency, the bench pointed out thatspontaneous manufacturing of vaccines is the need of the hour which is not happening due to a “fear psychosis” of various vigilance enquiry, audits and other police investigation. Court,also questioned the Centre as to why a test was required for a vaccine which is being manufactured in India when there are exemptions from bridging trials provided for the ones being imported from outside India.

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