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World|health|January 29, 2021 / 12:56 PM
Vaccine diplomacy: India gets request from all across the world; partnering in phased manner

AKIPRESS.COM - The Indian government has been receiving requests for India-made Covid-19 vaccines from all across the world with New Delhi partnering with all interested countries in a "phased manner", reported.

The requests for vaccines are from developed as well as developing countries from all the continents due to India's huge "manufacturing capacity".

India started shipping out vaccines last week and so far, has gifted vaccines to seven countries (Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles) in the immediate neighborhood and commercially sent supplies to three countries - Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh. India has supplied/gifted 4.5 million doses of locally manufactured vaccines, and commercially sent 9 million doses of vaccines so far.

From North America, the country received request from Canada, in the Caribbean (CARICOM Countries), the Dominican Republic and in South America, from Brazil. Requests for vaccine have also been received from the Pacific islands, Europe and several Arab countries - Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait among others.

When it comes to Africa, Indian government received requests from Morocco in the north to South Africa covering a vast expanse of the continent. In India’s neighborhood, all the countries, barring one, and a whole host of countries in Asia - from Mongolia, Cambodia and many Central Asian countries have sent requests to New Delhi for supply of vaccines.

Delhi's "vaccine diplomacy" is expected to continue for a long period of time and can take months or even years. With number of requests from global capitals is increasing in each passing week, New Delhi is taking the call keeping in view number of facts including domestic requirement.

India started its countrywide mega vaccination program on January 16, and so far, about two million healthcare workers have been vaccinated. A large chunk of the COVID-19 vaccines, India is exporting, were produced by Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) which is the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines. SII has been given certain territorial rights by Oxford-AstraZeneca to produce the Covid-19 vaccine - COVISHIELD for the neighborhood, Africa and Latin America.

The company has an agreement with Gavi - Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization from which many African and other countries are expected to receive vaccines.

Terming India a "true friend" which is using its pharmaceutical sector to help the global community, the US has applauded New Delhi for gifting COVID-19 vaccines to several countries.

"We applaud India's role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India's free shipments of vaccine began with Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and will extend to others," the South and Central Asia Bureau of the U.S. State Department tweeted on January 22.

"India's a true friend using its pharma to help the global community," it said.

US’ House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks also commended India's support to its neighboring countries to fight the pandemic. “I commend India's efforts to help its neighbors by providing them with free COVID-19 vaccines. Global challenges like the pandemic require both regional and global solutions,” Meeks said.

The US media also praised India's support to the global community in this health crisis.

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