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India is in talks with Pfizer to obtain vaccine doses

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Officials said the Indian government is in talks with Pfizer to obtain 50 million doses of the company’s coronavirus vaccine starting this summer, but is still considering asking the drugmaker to compensate for costs related to severe side effects.

India has not provided compensation or liability protection for any manufacturer of coronavirus vaccines, but government officials have indicated that they will likely agree to Pfizer’s request. The drug company has received compensation in several countries where its vaccine is already in use, including the United States.

“We are studying this request, and we will make decisions in the interest of the people and on the basis of merit,” Vinod Ball, who heads the Indian government’s vaccination program, told reporters on Thursday.

Officials said Pfizer was ready to supply India with 50 million doses of vaccine from July to October, and that the company had shared information regarding the drug’s efficacy with Indian health authorities.

India is struggling to vaccinate its population as a second wave of the Coronavirus sweeps the country, killing thousands a day and flooding medical facilities. More than 315,000 people have died in India as a result of the virus, The third highest toll in the worldAfter the United States and Brazil, but experts believe the official data are Much fewer.

Only 3 percent of India’s population of 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated New York Times DatabaseAnd experts say that vaccines are slow to reach rural areas in India. Where the outbreak is increasing. Vaccination rates across the country have fallen to two million shots per day from three million a few months ago, as health centers say doses are running out and many in the country say they cannot find a place to vaccinate.

Indian officials now say expanding vaccines is the only way out of the outbreak, but unlike many other countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has refused to sign advance purchase agreements with vaccine manufacturers, believing it defeated the virus this year. Experts say that with the Indians lowering their caution, they have been left defenseless against variants of the Coronavirus that are believed to be more transmissible.

It has a large vaccine industry in India Failed to keep up with the request, Which makes the country dependent on imported doses, which are in short supply in the world. Indian officials said on Thursday they would work with Pfizer to make its doses available as quickly as possible.

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