Pfizer says it told India there no safety concern with its COVID-19 vaccine
By Krishna N. Das NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Monday it told the Indian government that there was no concern over the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine, as the country insists on small local trials for foreign shots despite a record surge in infections and shortage of doses.
By Krishna N. Das
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Pfizer Inc said on Monday it told the Indian government that there was no concern over the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine, as the country insists on small local trials for foreign shots despite a record surge in infections and shortage of doses.
The government in mid-April made it easier for foreign vaccines approved in the West and Japan to sell in India, though companies would still have to initiate a local clinical trial within 30 days of receiving emergency use authorization. Previously, companies were required to do the trial prior to approval.
India has invited Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc to sell their vaccines to the country but none have applied to do so yet.
Pfizer, however, said it is holding fresh talks with the government after having withdrawn its initial application in February over the earlier local trial rule.
"Pfizer’s application for emergency use authorization was supported with data that shows an overall efficacy rate of 95% with no safety concerns," a company spokeswoman told Reuters, when asked if it had sought an exception even to the current trial rule in its discussions with the government.
She added that the safety and efficacy data had been backed by regulatory authorities in the United States, Britain, Japan and the World Health Organization - agencies that India endorses.
Pfizer, which produces the vaccine with German partner BioNTech SE, reiterated that it would supply doses only through government contracts.
Asked about the vaccine's ultra-low temperature storage requirements - minus 70 degrees Celsius (-90 F) - Pfizer said the company could deliver the shot to vaccination centers using its specially designed, temperature-controlled thermal shippers.
It said doses could be stored in ultra-low-temperature freezers for up to six months, in the shippers for up to 30 days by refilling them with dry ice every five days, or in common refrigeration and freezer units for five days.
(Reporting by Krishna N. Das; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.