India had in January ramped up vaccine manufacture to supply to as many as 60 nations in the coming months
The country on Wednesday handed over 1,00,000 additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the Maldives
The Serum Institute of India (SII) has been asked to prioritise the Covid-19 vaccine needs of India even as the country, CEO of SII Adar Poonawalla said on Sunday.
"Dear countries & governments, as you await Covishield supplies, I humbly request you to please be patient, Serum Institute of India has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are trying our best," Poonawalla wrote on Twitter.
Dear countries & governments, as you await #COVISHIELD supplies, I humbly request you to please be patient, @SerumInstIndia has been directed to prioritise the huge needs of India and along with that balance the needs of the rest of the world. We are trying our best.
The statement comes in the backdrop of India having gifted or sold more than 17 million doses to other countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
The nation had in January ramped up vaccine manufacture to supply to as many as 60 nations in the coming months.
Vaccines as gifts
Twenty-five nations across the world have already received Made in India vaccines and Forty-nine more countries will be supplied in the coming days, ranging from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last week at the United Nations Security Council open debate on Implementation of Resolution 2532
The country on Wednesday handed over 1,00,000 additional doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the Maldives. In January, Maldives was the first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India when India gifted 1,00,000 doses.
In addition to this, S Jaishankar had last week offered a Covid-19 vaccine to all UN peacekeepers - nearly 95,000 troops in 12 missions around the world.
"Keeping in mind the UN peacekeepers who operate in such difficult circumstances, we would like to announce today a gift of 2,00,000 doses for them. Our contribution has also supported SAARC Covid-19 Emergency Fund," he said.
Jaishankar had also called for cooperation within the framework of COVAX, which is trying to secure adequate vaccine doses for the poorest nations.
Stop 'Vaccine nationalism'; indeed, actively encourage internationalism, he stressed. "Hoarding superfluous doses will defeat our efforts towards attaining collective health security," the minister said.
India has approved two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the SII - for emergency use in the country.
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