2 min read.Updated: 20 Jan 2021, 06:20 AM IST Edited By Sangeeta Ojha
India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir and paracetamol tablets to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic
In a tweet, PM Modi said India is deeply honoured to be a 'long-trusted' partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community
India, one of the world's leading drugmakers, will start exporting vaccines for the novel coronavirus from today. The country will provide supplies of Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles under grant assistance. Shipments will be sent to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius as well on receipt of necessary regulatory clearances.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India is deeply honoured to be a "long-trusted" partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community and that supplies of the vaccines to several countries will commence on Wednesday, and more will follow in the days ahead.
India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of Covid vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead. #VaccineMaitrihttps://t.co/9Czfkuk8h7
The Ministry of External Affairs said India will supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner keeping in view the domestic requirements.
In a statement, the MEA said India has received several requests for the supply of Indian-manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries.
"In response to these requests, and in keeping with India's stated commitment to using India's vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the COVID pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will begin from January 20," it said.
"India fulfils the commitment to give vaccines to humanity. Supplies for our neighbours will start on 20th January. The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Twitter.
The Bangladesh foreign ministry said it expected to receive a gift of two million doses on Thursday. The country of 160 million, which has yet to start its vaccination programme, has ordered a further 30 million doses, officials said.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is widely viewed as their best option because the other two, manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and by Moderna, need to be stored at very low temperatures. WHO emergency authorisation for the Astra-Oxford vaccine would additionally allow SII to begin supplying it to the WHO-backed COVAX initiative aimed at fairly distributing COVID-19 shots across the world.
India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country. While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.
India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.
"In an ongoing effort, India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines. This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI's Covax facility to developing countries," the MEA added. GAVI is a global vaccine alliance.