Coronavirus vaccine: Centre in talks with Pfizer to make vaccine available for use in India

On Monday, Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced more than 90% efficacy of their potential vaccine for the coronavirus infection.

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A day after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced around 90% efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine in their ongoing phase three trial, the central government on Tuesday said that it is in dialogue with both the domestic and international vaccine manufacturers about the logistical requirements.

The government's National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 was responding to a query if they are considering any tie-up with Pfizer for their covid vaccine.

"We not only look at the status of the development of these vaccines but also at the regulatory approvals, where have they progressed. We also engage in dialogue about the logistical requirements if such vaccines have to be stored at a temperature which may range between -90 and 8 degrees Celsius, as well as dosages required to be administered. This is a continuously changing situation and if any regulatory approval comes, we will share it," said Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary.

Vaccines must be stored and transported within the required temperature range of two degrees Centigrade to eight degrees Centigrade at all times. Most vaccines are considered to be damaged at zero degree Centigrade. A frozen or damaged vaccine may not visually appear solid or change in appearance.

A spokesperson for Pfizer India in a statement to Livemint said that Pfizer is in discussion with the government to sell its promising covid-19 vaccine in India, and believes its candidate has the potential to be an important part of India's early vaccine response.

India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting the COVID-19 crisis and New Delhi will also help interested countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of vaccines, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had said on Friday.

He had said that India is on track on the development and trial of vaccines and is exploring the possibility of conducting phase three trials in a few of the partner countries.

"Based on willingness, we may also go for joint production of vaccines in some countries. We have already conducted online training sessions for nearly 90 participants from eight neighbouring countries to develop capacity in clinical trials and clinical practices. Based on demand, we can conduct more such training courses," Shringla had said.

On Monday, Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE announced more than 90% efficacy of their potential vaccine for the coronavirus infection.

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