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India seeks to fast-track Covid vaccine imports as it struggles to secure supplies for domestic production

India seeks to fast-track Covid vaccine imports as it struggles to secure supplies for domestic production
The Indian government has suspended its local “trial requirement” for “well-established” Covid vaccines, focusing on fast-tracking imports from other states, as it struggles to secure supplies to bolster domestic production.

In a statement announcing the move on Thursday, New Delhi said that its approval process for Covid-19 jabs had been “amended to waive the trial requirement altogether for the well-established vaccines manufactured in other countries.”

The move was linked with an announcement from India that it is in talks with Pfizer to arrange imports of doses of the company’s Covid vaccine at the “earliest possible” opportunity. Other discussions are currently ongoing with Johnson & Johnson and with Moderna, although an agreement has not yet been reached on New Delhi securing supplies of their vaccines.

India currently has three vaccines in use in its inoculation program: AstraZeneca, produced domestically at the Serum Institute, Covaxin, manufactured by Indian firm Bharat Biotech, and Sputnik V, imported from Russia. 

Domestic manufacturing in India has hit some serious snags in recent months, as raw supplies have run short, reducing the quantities that can be produced and in turn impacting the country’s ability to export doses as part of its involvement in the global Covax scheme.

Also on rt.com Indian Covid-19 variant has now infected people in 53 territories, as strain spreads globally – WHO report

Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded 27,369,093 confirmed cases of the virus, the second highest internationally, and 315,235 fatalities, according to data provided to the WHO as of May 27. India is still recording the highest number of new daily infections of any country, despite this figure being lower than those recorded nationally earlier in May.

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