Coronavirus Live Updates | India must ramp up manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines: PM Modi

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had brought the pharmaceuticals sector into sharp focus.

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Pfizer signs $5.3 billion U.S. deal to supply COVID-19 antiviral pills

Pfizer Inc said on Thursday it had signed a $5.29 billion deal with the U.S. government to deliver 10 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 antiviral drug, as the country rushes to secure promising oral treatments for the disease.

The deal is roughly twice the size of the contract the U.S. government has with Merck & Co Inc, although the price for the Pfizer pill is lower at roughly $530 per course compared with about $700 for Merck’s.

Pfizer applied for emergency authorization of the drug, branded as Paxlovid, this week after reporting data showing that it was 89% effective at preventing hospitalization or death in at-risk people.

The drugmaker said it would begin deliveries of the treatment as soon as this year if it is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.- Reuters

German lawmakers shift in COVID rules after dire warnings

German lawmakers approved new measures Thursday to rein in record coronavirus infections after the head of the country’s disease control agency warned Germany could face a “really terrible Christmas.”

The legislation includes requirements for employees to prove they are vaccinated, recently recovered from COVID-19 or have tested negative for the virus in order to access communal workplaces; a similar rule will apply to public transport. The measures need to be approved by Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, which could happen Friday.-AP

India must ramp up manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurating the first Global Innovation Summit of the pharmaceuticals sector on Thursday, said that India must think about ramping up domestic manufacturing of key ingredients for vaccines and medicines.

“This is one frontier that India has to conquer,” he said, adding that the country had a large pool of scientists with the potential to take the pharmaceutical industry to greater heights.

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