Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Export of vaccine restart after six months

Export of vaccine restart after six months

Officials said that India has restarted exporting covid-19 vaccines, albeit limitedly, with the first consignments going to Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar.

The resumption comes after a gap of almost six months, one of two officials cited above said, adding that the vaccines sent were partly donating on a commercial basis.

The first official said.

Iran is one of the first countries to get one million doses of Covaxin vaccines on Saturday, manufactured by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech. Covaxin is currently awaiting World Health Organisation (WHO) recognition as one of the vaccines that can be conferring emergency use listing status. Consignments for other countries are in the process of being sent,

The second official said.

According to the second official cited above, the easing of covid-19 cases in India – 18,166 new infections were reported on Saturday, down from a peak of 400,000 daily new conditions in the middle of the second wave – the Modi government is looking at the resumption of vaccine exports.

"Prime Minister had announced during his speech at the UN General Assembly (on 25 September) that India is ready to restart sending covid-19 vaccines to countries that need them,"

Export of vaccine restart after six months 1unsplash image

Read More : 90 Crore covid vaccine doses issue in India

The subject of India resuming vaccine imports had also figured in Modi's meeting with the US president when the two met in Washington on 24 September. This was something that Biden appreciated, Indian foreign secretary Harsh Shringla told reporters in Washington after the Biden-Modi talks.

India had begun its domestic vaccination program in January. It started sending out vaccines as grants and commercial exports to 95 countries between January and April. In all, India had sent out more than 66 million vaccine doses when the country was hit by a brutal second wave of covid-19 infections fuelled by the more infectious Delta variant of the Covid that was first detected in China in late 2019. This made it necessary for authorities to stop exports and focus manufacturing for domestic uses only. India was also hit by a shortage of ingredients – sourced from abroad- required to manufacture anti-covid-19 vaccines. As New Delhi scaled up its vaccine program, it also worked to keep vaccine supply lines open, which would help speed up vaccine production.

At present, health authorities say that 70% of India's 1.3 billion people have received at least one dose of an anti-covid-19 vaccine. In contrast, a quarter of India's population has received both doses of an anti-covid-19 vaccine.

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