New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said with its inputs and support, the national expert group on vaccine administration for COVID-19 will help Indian firms interested in any candidate vaccines, and facilitate the process of ensuring that relevant testing data is made available to India’s regulatory agencies.

Asked about the nature of collaboration India is considering with Russian vaccine maker RDIF and is India confident that all protocols have been followed by the firm, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the government has set up a national expert group on vaccine administration for COVID-19.

The purpose of the group is to keep India in the forefront of any ongoing effort worldwide to innovate, prepare, produce and launch candidate vaccines to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, for India and for the world, he said at an online media briefing.

“Through the inputs and support of MEA, this expert group will help to connect Indian companies that are interested in any candidate vaccines, and facilitate the process of ensuring that the relevant testing data is made available to our regulatory agencies,” Srivastava said.

The regulator can then decide on the nature of trials that may be needed before a decision can be taken on the use of any candidate vaccine in India, he said. Meanwhile, Kirill Dmitriev, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said on Thursday that Russia is looking for a partnership with India for producing COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V.

To a separate question on possible dates for holding India-Japan annual summit, Srivastava said the two sides are in touch with each other through diplomatic channels and whenever a date is finalized, it will be announced.

Source: PTI