Here are the top-10 developments on this front from the past 24 hours:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit India's top vaccine hubs today to review the COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing process. He began with Zydus Cadila's plant near Ahmedabad in the morning. From there, he is expected to move to Pune's Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for a vaccine. His next stop will be Bharat BioTech, Hyderabad, which is working on Covaxin, pitched as India's first indigenous vaccine candidate.
One of the developers of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine has announced that India-based drugmaker Hetero will produce over 100 million doses of the shot. Apart from India, the RDIF says Sputnik V will also be produced in Brazil, China, and South Korea.
Delhi on Friday recorded 5,482 new cases and 98 deaths. The city's overall number of cases now stands at 5,56,744, with 8,909 deaths at a rate of 1.6%. Up to 64,455 tests were conducted across the city in the past 24 hours.
Maharashtra's total on Friday reached 18,08,550 as 6,185 fresh cases were recorded. The state also reported 85 fatalities, taking the state's total number of deaths to 46,898. Mumbai reported 1,074 new cases, pushing its caseload to 2,80,818, and deaths to 10,757, with 17 fatalities recorded on Friday.
Fresh restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 come into force today in Leh district of Ladakh Union Territory, prohibiting assembly of over four people and allowing only 50 per cent staff to attend government offices, while vehicles will ply with only half their capacities.
Bihar's COVID-19 tally rose to 2,33,839 after 698 new cases were reported till Friday, while five fresh fatalities took the death count to 1,248.
Brazil on Friday reported 514 more deaths from COVID-19, raising its total death numbers to 171,974. Its accumulated caseload is now at 6,238,350. The country has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death figure after the US and the third-largest caseload after the US and India.
Italy and Ireland loosen COVID restrictions beginning this weekend. Italy will ease its anti-COVID clampdown in five regions from Sunday, including in the country's richest and most populous region, Lombardy, the Health Ministry said. Ireland will allow shops, restaurants, gyms, and pubs serving food to reopen next week, and permit travel between counties from December 18 to facilitate a "different but special" Christmas, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Friday. Ireland became one of first European countries to reimpose tough COVID-19 constraints six weeks ago.
The rate of new infections slowed in France on Friday, the day before shops have been allowed to resume selling non-essential goods. The number of daily new infections fell to 12,459, compared to 13,563 on Thursday and 22,882 last Friday.
Ten COVID-19 vaccines could be available by the middle of next year if they win regulatory approval, but their inventors need patent protection, the head of the global pharmaceutical industry group said on Friday.