Vaccine Maitri raised India’s stature but will need to calibrate supplies: Foreign secretary | India News – Times of India

While calibrating external supplies, India has continued to donate Covid-19 vaccine to “partner countries“. The government gifted 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to Fiji Tuesday.
Speaking at an event, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said since the launch of Vaccine Maitri, India has supplied 64 million doses of vaccines to 82 countries. “This includes supplies under grant, commercial contracts and the COVAX facility. We have also facilitated supply of vaccines to UN health workers and are gifting vaccines to UN Peacekeepers,” said Shringla.
While India launched the national vaccination drive on 16 January this year, only 4 days later the first tranche of Indian vaccines landed in Bhutan and Maldives and the next few days in Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles and Mauritius.
Shringla said the Vaccine Maitri initiative had been a major diplomatic effort by India and had helped raise its global stature. The number of vaccine doses shared with India’s partner countries so far is about the same as the number used in the domestic immunisation programme.
With the resurgence of Covid-19 cases though, the official said, India will need to calibrate its external supplies keeping in mind the domestic production and needs.
“There is every expectation that the two current manufacturers will rapidly expand their manufacturing capacities to cater to the increasing domestic and external demand. In keeping with the vision of catering to the global good, the Leaders’ Summit of the Quad, consisting of USA, Japan, Australia and India, has proposed to use Indian manufacturing capacity, financed and supported by the other Quad members, to supply vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region, said the foreign secretary, adding this will involve the creation of new capacities and will not have an impact on India’s current vaccine production or roll out.
“India’s initiative of supplying Covid-19 vaccines to the world despite its huge domestic requirements has been widely appreciated, including by UN Secretary-General; WHO; Heads of State and Government of several countries; and the public at large around the world. Vaccine Maitri initiative has been a major diplomatic effort by India and has helped raise our global stature,” he added.

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