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India fast-tracks approval for foreign vaccines amid second wave, South Asia News & Top Stories

NEW DELHI (BLOOMBERG) – India will fast-track approvals for Covid-19 vaccines approved by governments overseas in order to have a wider pool of shots as it struggles to control its soaring second wave of infections, effectively opening the door to shots made by Pfizer and Moderna.

A government panel has recommended that inoculations approved by drug regulators in the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Japan or which are listed in the World Health Organisation, may be granted emergency use approval in the South Asian nation, according to a statement from the Indian health ministry.

The decision comes a day after India reported another record surge in new Covid infections and granted emergency use approval for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on Monday, making it the third shot approved by the nation as it races to control its pandemic.

The country rolled out its vaccination drive on Jan 16 with shots made by Astrazeneca’s local partner, Serum Institute of India, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International.

India is now the world’s second worst-hit nation, having overtaken Brazil once again Monday with a sharp jump in daily new infections over the last 10 days pushing its total tally to nearly 13.7 million cases.

On Tuesday the country reported 161,736 new cases and 879 deaths – more than four times the daily average in January.

The country is facing an escalating health crisis as a deadlier second wave begins to overwhelm hospitals and crematoriums, forcing some states to impose partial lockdowns.

Some parts of the country, including Maharashtra where financial hub Mumbai is based, are also facing vaccine shortages.

An expedited process for foreign-made vaccines, waiving the need for local bridging trials ahead of approvals, will hopefully ease the shortfall. The bridging trials can now follow after the vaccines are cleared for use.



India fast-tracks approval for foreign vaccines amid second wave, South Asia News & Top Stories Source link India fast-tracks approval for foreign vaccines amid second wave, South Asia News & Top Stories

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