India is set to give 1 crore (10 million) doses of India-made COVID-19 vaccines to Africa under GAVI’s Covax facility. Not just that, New Delhi will also give 10 lakh (1 million) doses to UN health workers using the same method.
GAVI — Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation — was created in 2000, aiming to give equal access to vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Under its Covax facility, the aim is equitable distribution of Covid vaccines, and also accelerate the development and manufacture of these vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has officially announced it would gift more Covid vaccines — to Oman (1 lakh), CARICOM countries (5 lakh), Nicaragua (2 lakh) and Pacific Island states (2 lakh).
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, “In line with the prime minister’s announcement that India sees international cooperation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as its duty, we have played the role of the first responder in our neighbourhood as well as undertaken supplies to countries beyond.”
Friday marks the eighth day since India gave a go-ahead to exports of Covid vaccines. It has so far gifted over 55 lakh doses of vaccines to nine countries. These are Bhutan (1.5 lakh), Maldives (1 lakh), Nepal (10 lakh), Bangladesh (20 lakh), Myanmar (15 lakh), Mauritius (1 lakh), Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (5 lakh) and Bahrain (1 lakh).
Commercial exports also have been sent to Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh. Next in line to get commercial supplies of India-made vaccines are Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada, and Mongolia.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, who is in India for foreign office consultations, thanked the External Affairs Minister for handing over 2 million doses of vaccines.
Nepal and Bangladesh began their vaccination programme on Wednesday using India-manufactured vaccines.
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