India in talks to buy 50 million doses of Pfizer vaccine – WSJ

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that India is in talks to buy 50 million doses of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine from German partner BioNTech SE’s , citing people familiar with the situation. A Pfizer representative confirmed the company was in talks with the government about supplying vaccines, but declined to elaborate. The Indian Ministry of Health did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Reuters.

To be sure, the pharmaceutical company has not yet applied for approval to use its vaccine in India.

Earlier this year, India launched one of the world’s largest immunisation campaigns, depending mainly on the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India and a home-grown shot developed by Bharat Biotech.

While the number of coronavirus infections in the country has decreased from a high point in April and May, government experts have warned that the second wave is not yet done. According to experts, India’s best shot against the fast-spreading Delta version of the coronavirus is large-scale vaccination.

According to the most recent government figures, the country has fully immunised about 115 million people, or around 12% of its estimated 944 million adults. By December, the government hopes to have vaccinated the entire adult population. 

According to the Journal, authorities are also in advanced talks with Johnson & Johnson , which has a deal with India-based Biological E. Ltd to manufacture up to 600 million doses starting this month.J&J’s one-shot vaccination was licenced for emergency use by the country last week, joining vaccines from AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech, Russia’s Gamaleya Institute, and Moderna that had already received such approval.

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