Vaccine Maitri Diplomacy: India fulfils its promise to the world, supplies vaccines across the globe

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covid 19 vaccine diplomacyIndia has also provided medical assistance to that country and there is an Air Bubble Arrangement between the two. (Photo source: ANI)Over the next few days, India is planning to give more vaccines to countries across the globe. Oman will get one lakh, CARICOM countries will receive 5 lakh, and Central American nation Nicaragua will get 2 lakh and Pacific Island states around 2 lakh doses.

Which are the CARICOM countries?

Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, and Dominica.

Pacific Island Countries

Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and Vanuatu.

India is also set to supply 10 million doses to Africa and one million to UN health workers under GAVI’s (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) COVAX facility.

Commercial Exports

After commercially exporting the vaccines to countries including Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh last week, India is now all set to export to other countries including Mongolia, Canada, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and others.

Decision to export as gifts or commercial

According to the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Anurag Srivastava, “Whether external supplies – as gifts or on a commercial basis, it is all based on the domestic availability, and licensing issues. And also on the regulatory approvals in the countries concerned.”

“Over the coming weeks and months, it will all be carried out in a phased manner – the supply of vaccines to partner countries. And the decision on the supplies will be calibrated against the requirements of the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine at home,” Mr Srivastava added.

Several countries including several from the Arab world like Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait have reached out to India for the vaccines. India has been playing a very important role –that of the first responder not only in the neighbourhood but has sent urgent medical supplies to countries across the globe.

So far

From January 20, 2021, India has given around 55 lakh doses of vaccines to the neighbourhood and the supplies made were based on the requests from these countries.

Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (5 lakhs), Bhutan (1.5 lakh), Maldives (1 lakh), Nepal (10 lakh), Bangladesh (20 lakh), Myanmar (15 lakh), Mauritius (1 lakh), and Bahrain (1 lakh).

Bahrain becomes the first country in West Asia to receive vaccine gift from India

On Friday, Bahrain is set to receive a gift of 1 lakh COVID-19 vaccines. Overall it is the ninth country so far to receive a gift of vaccines from India.

Last November, external affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar had visited Bahrain and had thanked the leadership for taking care of the Indian community during the global pandemic of Coronavirus.

India has also provided medical assistance to that country and there is an Air Bubble Arrangement between the two.

India at the UN

Earlier this week, India highlighted its vaccine diplomacy at the United Nations Security Council. India’s Deputy Permanent representative, Nagraj Naidu, told the world leaders “India, as the largest vaccine-producing country of the world, is fulfilling our commitment to make our vaccine production and delivery capacity available for the benefit of the entire humanity.”

Besides sending urgent medical supplies during the pandemic, India has recently trained medical professionals from 13 countries on the administration of the vaccines.

During the intervention, Deputy Permanent representative, Nagraj Naidu also pointed out India’s efforts to upgrade the medical facilities of UN peacekeeping missions in Goma in DRC and Juba in South Sudan.

Where are the vaccines coming from?

These are from Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII). This is the world’s largest manufacturers of vaccines.

According to reports, SII has been given territorial rights by Oxford-AstraZeneca to produce the COVISHIELD for the neighbourhood, Africa and Latin America. The company has an agreement with GAVI and several African nations and others are expected to get the vaccines.

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