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US pharma giant Pfizer is in talks with the Indian government to sell 50 million of its vaccine doses in the country by the third quarter of this year.

Top government officials, The Times of India reported, have discussed availability of the vaccines with senior Pfizer executives in several meetings.The negotiations between the government and Pfizer are also close to reaching a breakthrough over the issue of indemnifying the company against liabilities that may arise from any side- effects after using its vaccines, Economic Times reported.

The vaccines, which are relatively expensive, will be available for purchase by the government only for the vaccination programme.

The development comes in the backdrop of India falling short of vaccines in the wake of a massive demand amid the catastrophic second Covid-19 wave ravaging the country.

Many states such as Uttar Pradesh and even the Mumbai civic body have announced to float global tenders to procure vaccines.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday said the mRNA vaccines approved by it would be able to fight the new variant detected in Maharashtra.

EMA said it is monitoring the data on the Indian variant very closely. “We are seeing promising evidence that mRNA vaccines will be able to neutralise this variant,” it added.

The EMA has authorised Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines for the continent.

The US still hasn’t allowed Pfizer or Moderna vaccines being produced in the country to be exported as long as there is domestic demand. In such a scenario, European manufacturing centres are probably going to be the source for the Pfizer vaccines that India wants to procure.

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