You are here: Home » Current Affairs » Coronavirus » News
Business Standard

Not working with any other partner for Covid-19 vaccination, says Pfizer

Clarification comes after a Mumbai-based tour operator announces 'vaccine tourism', solicits customer interest

Coronavirus | Pfizer | Coronavirus Vaccine

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

Sources within the travel industry said the vaccine tourism package could be a ploy to widen customer base

US drug maker has said that it is not working with any other partner at this time or authorised any agency to conduct or facilitate Covid-19 vaccination. The statement came on Tuesday after Gem Tours and Travels, a Mumbai-based tour operator, announced ‘vaccine tourism’ packages for its customers, promising to facilitate vaccine shots in the US.

"Once approved, will supply this vaccine during this pandemic phase only to governments across the world based on agreements with respective government authorities and following regulatory authorisation or approval. Vaccine administration to appropriate populations within a country is a decision for local governments based on relevant health authority guidance," a Pfizer spokesperson said.

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer along with German firm BioNTech has shown a 95 per cent efficacy against the virus in test results.

ALSO READ: Kejriwal asks PM to reserve ICU beds for Delhiites in Centre-run hospitals

Since the Pfizer vaccine requires very low temperatures (-70 degrees Celsius) and is unlikely to be introduced in India, Gem Tours and Travels sensed an opportunity to promote vaccine tourism. In two messages circulated among travel agents, Gem Tours and Travels announced 4 day/3 night packages, including airfare, hotel stay and Covid-19 vaccine shot in the US. The tour operator also said it was not procuring or holding any vaccines while soliciting customer registrations. "Everything we will arrange will be within laws of the US and will be done according to official permission of health department there," it said.

Sources within the travel industry said the vaccine tourism package could be a ploy to widen customer base. By gathering customer data, the tour operator could push other domestic and international packages to them, one travel agent said.

The tour operator's founder-chairman Jyotin Doshi defended the move stating the company was over three decades old and did not have to resort to such publicity stunts for business.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Tue, November 24 2020. 20:50 IST