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NEW DELHI : After Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday announced that in the fourth quarter this year, the Government of India will resume Vaccine Maitri, sources today informed that the neighbouring countries will get priority under the initiative.

Vaccine Maitri is an initiative to provide Covid-19 vaccines to countries around the world.

"Countries neighbouring India will get priority on resumption of exports under 'Vaccine Maitri," said sources on Monday.

Earlier today, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had also announced that the Government of India will resume 'Vaccine Maitri' from October this year and also fulfil its responsibility under Covax.

"Under Vaccine Maitri, we will help the world and contribute to Covax in the fourth quarter," Mandaviya today told reporters.

The Centre had halted the export of Covid-19 vaccines in March owing to the sharp surge in cases of infection back home.

Sources further informed that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over the UK government's recent COVID-19-related travel restrictions where travellers who have received both the doses of Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India) will be considered "unvaccinated".

"Union Health Ministry is in touch with MEA over the non-acceptance of Covishield beneficiaries from India in the UK," they said.

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