Pfizer in talks with India for expedited approval for vaccine
United States pharmaceutical major Pfizer is in talks with the Indian government to seek expedited approval for its COVID-19 vaccine. Pfizer had submitted an application for the vaccine's emergency approval in India, however, it has not been registered yet. In a statement on Monday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla also announced a donation of medicines worth more than $70 million. Here are more details.
Vaccines critical to ending pandemic: Pfizer CEO
Bourla said, "We are currently discussing with the Indian government an expedited approval pathway to make our Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine available for use in the country." He said that vaccines are "critical to ending this pandemic." The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, named BNT162b2, has been found 91.3% effective against COVID-19. Last month, India had fast-tracked emergency approval for vaccines cleared by the US.
Pfizer sending medicines worth $70 million to India
Bourla also announced that Pfizer is sending medicines worth $70 million (Rs. 510 crore) to be made available for free immediately. "Right now, Pfizer colleagues at distribution centers in the US, Europe, and Asia are hard at work rushing shipments of Pfizer medicines that the Government of India has identified as part of its COVID-19 treatment protocol," he said.
Pfizer sending steroid medications, anticoagulants, antibiotics
The donation includes steroid medications to reduce inflammation, anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, and antibiotics that treat secondary bacterial infections, Pfizer said, adding that it would impact hundreds of thousands of patients over the next 90 days.
Pfizer to work closely with Indian government, NGOs
Bourla said Pfizer will work closely with the government/NGOs adding, "We are committed to being a partner in India's fight against this disease and are quickly working to mobilize the largest humanitarian relief effort in our company's history." "We're deeply concerned by the critical COVID-19 situation in India, and our hearts go out to you, your loved ones, and all the people of India."
India reports 3.68 lakh new cases, 3.4K more deaths
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Monday morning, India reported a total of 1,99,25,604 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 2,18,959. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 1,62,93,003 patients have recovered, while 34,13,642 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 3,68,147 new infections and 3,417 fresh fatalities. 15,71,98,207 vaccine doses have been administered so far.