India orders unapproved COVID shots

India has ordered its first batch of an unapproved COVID-19 vaccine.

Just a day after criticism from the Supreme Court over its bungled vaccine rollout.

The government is buying 300 million vaccine doses from an Indian company called Biological-E, putting down an advance of $205.6 million.

The shot is still going through Phase III clinical trials.

The Health Ministry says the deal with Biological-E is part of a wider effort to encourage local manufacturers in research and development.

Millions of people have been left vulnerable in India's devastating second wave of the virus.

Almost 338,000 people have died, and only 4.7% of the adult population of 950 million have been given two vaccine doses.

India is already inoculating its people with Astrazeneca and Covaxin shots, and it's set to commercially launch Russia's Sputnik V later this month.

But supplies are running low after the government opened vaccines to all adults last month.

Some vaccination centres have had to close down, prompting Supreme Court criticism over a lack of planning.

The government said this week it could have as many as 10 million doses each day in July and August, up from just under three million now.