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Pfizer is in discussions with India and committed to make its COVID-19 vaccine available for deployment in the country, Reuters cited the US drugmaker as saying. The company said it had offered India a not-for-profit price for its vaccine for the government's immunisation programme.

Last week, the Indian government said it would fast-track emergency approvals for foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines, a move that would exempt companies from carrying out "bridging" trials for their vaccines.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson has said that it is seeking to conduct a local clinical trial in India for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

India is grappling with a massive surge in covid cases that has severely strained its health system and caused shortages of oxygen and medicines.

India today recorded the world's highest daily tally of 314,835 COVID-19 infections in a single day.

According to Reuters, the previous record one-day rise in cases was held by the United States, which had 297,430 new cases on one day in January, though its tally has since fallen sharply.

India's total cases are now at 15.93 million, while deaths rose by 2,104 in past 24 hours to reach a total of 184,657, according to the latest health ministry data.

The Indian government will open up its vaccination drive from May 1 to cover those above 18 .

This week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged state governments to use lockdowns as a last resort. He asked people to stay indoors and said the government was working to increase the supply of oxygen and vaccines.

Meanwhile, Pfizer has announced that it will supply an additional 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the 27 European Union (EU) member states in 2021. This announcement is a result of the European Commission’s (EC) decision to exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses under its expanded Advanced Purchase Agreement signed on February 17, 2021. This brings the total number of doses to be delivered to the EU to 600 million.

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