Pfizer is in talks with India and is committed to making its COVID-19 vaccine available for use in the country, Reuters reported the US drug maker said. The company said it had offered a not-for-profit price to India for its vaccine for the government immunization program.
Last week, the Indian government said it would speed up emergency approvals for COVID-19 vaccines made abroad, a move that would exempt companies from conducting “bridging” trials for their vaccines.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has said it is seeking to conduct a local clinical trial in India for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
India is tackling a huge surge in wrap-around cases that has put a serious strain on its health system and caused a shortage of oxygen and medicines.
Today, India recorded the world’s highest daily count of 314,835 COVID-19 infections in one day.
According to Reuters, the United States, which had 297,430 new cases on a single day in January, held its highest ever one-day rise in cases, although its count has dropped sharply since then.
India’s total cases are now 15.93 million, while deaths have risen 2,104 in the last 24 hours to reach a total of 184,657, according to the latest health ministry data.
The Indian government will open its vaccination drive from May 1 to cover the over-18s.
This week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged state governments to use locks as a last resort. He asked people to stay indoors and said the government is working to increase the supply of oxygen and vaccines.
Meanwhile, Pfizer has announced that it will supply an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the 27 European Union (EU) member states in 2021. This announcement is the result of a European Commission decision ( EC) to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its extended Advanced Purchase Agreement signed on February 17, 2021. This brings the total doses for distribution to the EU to 600 million.