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India raises COVID jab production amid sharp dip in cases

Modi calls vaccination 'best hope,' aiming to inoculate all adults by year-end

Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan holds a dose of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine, called Covaxin in New Delhi on Jan. 16.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- With an ambitious goal to inoculate its entire adult population of more than 940 million by the end of the year, India is focusing on stepping up vaccine production even as a deadly second wave of COVID-19 has abated in recent weeks.

Two of India's domestic vaccine manufacturers -- the Pune-based Serum Institute of India, the world's largest producer, and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech -- have been the main providers of doses for the country's inoculation drive, which began on Jan. 16. The government granted emergency-use approval for Russia's Sputnik V vaccine in April, while U.S.-based Moderna's COVID-19 jab was approved in June. It is in talks with Pfizer to do the same.

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