Seven million doses will be sent to some Asian countries including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Ahead of the US announcing its plans to make COVID-19 vaccine jabs available India and other countries, US Senate Majority Leader Charles E Schumer had on Tuesday urged the Biden administration to send a robust allotment of vaccine doses to New Delhi, saying the country needs “much more” support to vaccinate its people. In a letter to US President Joe Biden on June 1, Schumer noted that India had helped the US early in the pandemic by sending protective personnel equipment and that it is time for America to people of India.
“I ask that you set aside a portion from the 80 million doses the United States has said it will release over the next few months to the Republic of India. To end the COVID-19 pandemic, this virus must be eradicated not just domestically but across the world, and vaccinations are our most potent weapon in this fight,” the letter read.
“India helped the US in our hour of need early in the pandemic by sending much needed protective personnel equipment. Now it is time for us to give back and help the people of India,” it added.
The US on Thursday shared the framework for the distribution of 25 of 80 million vaccine doses to different countries.
India’s Ambassador Taranjit Singh Sandhu had called on Schumer on Sunday to discuss the strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in the Quad and concerning COVID-19 vaccines and healthcare.
“Discussed working together in innovation as well as emerging technologies and thanked him for his longstanding support for India and Indian American community,” Sandhu had said in a tweet.
In his letter to Biden, Schumer referred to the enormous burden on India’s healthcare system due to spurt in cases in the second wave of pandemic and noted that its total count of cases was second to that of the US.
“The nation’s Serum Institute, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, has announced it will make 90 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine doses this month. While this is a significant contribution, India needs much more support to vaccinate its people and protect against the spread of COVIDI9,” Schumer said.
“On May 17th, 2021, your Administration announced that it would send 80 million doses of the vaccine to assist foreign nations in protecting the world from COVID-19. The United States, through other COVID-19 vaccine products, has more than enough vaccines to protect our own population and can afford to send AstraZeneca and other vaccine doses abroad. As such, I urge you to send a robust allotment of COVID-19 vaccine doses to India to help bring a swift end to this global crisis,” he added.
The Biden administration on Thursday announced the allocation of the first tranche of 25 million COVID-19 vaccines globally to address potential surges and the needs of the most vulnerable countries affected by the pandemic, including India.
Seven million doses will be sent to some Asian countries including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
US Vice President Kamala Harris also had a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
She informed Prime Minister about US plans to make vaccines against COVID-19 available to other countries, including India, under its “Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing”.
The leaders discussed ongoing efforts to strengthen the health supply chain between the US and India, including in the area of vaccine manufacturing and highlighted the potential of the India-US partnership as well as the Quad vaccine initiative in addressing the long-term health impact of the pandemic. (ANI)