New Delhi: In a major outreach, India will give out around one crore (10 million) doses of India-made COVID-19 vaccines to Africa also 10 lakh (1 million) doses will be provided for UN health workers.
The vaccines are being sent under GAVI or Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. It was created in 2000 and aims to give equal access to vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Under its COVAX facility, the aim is to achieve equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, and also accelerate the development and manufacture of these vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has officially announced that it will be gifting more COVID-19 vaccines, including Oman (1 lakh doses), CARICOM countries (5 lakh doses), Nicaragua (2 lakh doses) and Pacific Island states (2 lakh doses).
The spokesperson of MEA, Anurag Srivastava, said, “In line with the PM Modi’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-19 vaccines. It has so far gifted over 55 lakh doses of vaccines to nine countries in the neighbouring and in the extended neighbourhood. 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 lakhs) and Bahrain (1 lakh).
The COVID-19 vaccines have commercially been exported to Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh, as well. Next in line to get commercial supplies of India made vaccines are Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada, Mongolia.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, who is in India for foreign office consultations, in a call with India’s External Affairs Minister thanked the Indian side for handing over 2 million doses of vaccines. Nepal, Bangladesh began their vaccination program on Wednesday using India manufactured vaccines.