US congressman lauds India for plan to supply vaccines to other countries

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India committed itself to “help humanity in fighting the crisis.” The schedule and other details of India’s global vaccine distribution, however, are still unknown.

India’s external affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that India “may take some time” to deliver vaccines to other countries. 

Rep Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) has appreciated India for its plan to supply Covid-19 vaccines to its neighboring countries and to those around the world. 

Sherman tweeted that it was “great to see our ally India purchasing and supplying millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines, manufactured in India to its neighbors and partners around the world.” He also stated that India is one of the largest manufacturers of vaccines and at a time of need for the international community, the country is stepping out to help the world overcome the pandemic. 

India has said it plans to supply 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to its neighboring countries and also to supply vials to countries across the world. However, schedules are still underway and specifics are unknown. While Brazil signed up with India earlier this week for importing vaccines, supply to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Nepal, Seychelles, and Sri Lanka are in the works. Some of the supplies may be free.

On January 14, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated that India is evaluating the production schedule of Covid-19 vaccines for domestic use and the delivery of vaccines to other countries is expected to take “some time.” He added: “The vaccination process is just starting in India. It is too early to give a specific response on the supplies to other countries as we are still assessing production schedules and availability to take decisions in this regard. This may take some time.” 

India is producing two Covid-19 vaccines—AstraZeneca-Oxford University’s Covishield manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s locally conceived Covaxin. 

Nepal has cited that a vaccine-related agreement is likely to be on agenda during the meeting between India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali as part of the Nepal-India Joint Commission meeting. 

Bangladesh drug regulator, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), authorized Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd to procure 30 million doses of Covishield vaccine from SII, India. 

Srivastava would not say when the vaccines would be delivered, but simply stated that India would support the world to fight against the pandemic. He quoted the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as saying that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the “benefit of all humanity” in the fight against the virus. 

At the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit held on November 10, Modi had declared: “As world’s largest vaccine producing country, India will use its capacity to help entire humanity in fighting the crisis.”

Also Read: Doctors challenged by post-vaccine deaths in India, US

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