NEW DELHI :
India on Thursday pledged $15 million to GAVI, the international vaccine alliance. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the virtual Global Vaccine Summit hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which over 50 countries - business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders participated.
The Prime Minister said that India recognizes and values the work of GAVI, that is why it became a donor to GAVI while still being eligible for GAVI support. “India’s support to GAVI is not only financial but that India’s huge demand also brings down the global price of vaccines for all, saving almost $ 400 million for GAVI over the past five years," Modi said.
Prime Minister reiterated that India stands in solidarity with the world along with its proven capacity to produce quality medicines and vaccines at low cost, its own domestic experience in rapidly expanding immunization and its considerable scientific research talent.
India not only has the capacity to contribute to the global health efforts, but also has the will to do so in a spirit of sharing and caring, he said.
The Prime Minister said GAVI is not just a global alliance but also a symbol of global solidarity and a reminder of that by helping others we can also help ourselves. “India has a vast population and limited health facilities and that it understands the importance of immunization," Modi said adding that one of the first programmes launched by his government was Mission Indradhanush, which aims to ensure full vaccination of the country’s children and pregnant women, including those in the remote parts of the vast nation.
The Prime Minister highlighted that in order to expand protection, India has added six new vaccines to its National Immunization Programme. “India had digitized its entire vaccine supply line and developed an electronic vaccine intelligence network to monitor the integrity of its cold chain. These innovations are ensuring the availability of safe and potent vaccines in the right quantities at the right time till the last mile," he said.
Modi highlighted that India is also the World’s foremost producer of vaccines and that it is fortunate to contribute to the immunization of about 60% of the World’s children.
The Prime Minister said that India’s civilization teaches to see the world as one family and that during this pandemic it had tried to live up to this teaching. India did it so by sharing the country’s available stocks of medicines with over 120 countries, by forging a common response strategy in its immediate neighborhood and by providing specific support to countries that sought it, while also protecting India’s own vast population, he said.
Modi said the covid-19 pandemic, in some ways, has exposed the limitations of global cooperation and that for the first time in recent history, the human kind faces a clear common enemy.