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Covid-19: US, Indo-Pacific allies to expand India’s vaccine production

AP
Filed on March 12, 2021 | Last updated on March 12, 2021 at 09.39 pm
Reuters

The effort was announced on Friday at a virtual meeting of the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

President Joe Biden and fellow leaders of the Indo-Pacific alliance known as the Quad announced a plan to expand coronavirus vaccine manufacturing capacity in India.

The effort was announced on Friday at a virtual meeting of the leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

At the start of the meeting, Biden teased the forthcoming announcement, noting the alliance would be “launching an ambitious new joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing ... to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific” region. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters that the four leaders have agreed to work together to assist developing countries in the region with their vaccination efforts.

Biden was joined Friday by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other top national security aides for the meeting, which was being held virtually because of the pandemic.

The effort by the Quad is projected to allow India to increase manufacturing capacity by 1 billion doses by 2022, according to two senior administration officials who briefed reporters ahead of the meeting.

But the effort is already deemed not ambitious enough by some groups advocating for Biden to press for the World Trade Organization to allow a temporary waiver of the body’s intellectual property agreement. That would pave the way for generic or other manufacturers to make more vaccines.

The United States, Britain, European Union nations and other WTO members on Wednesday blocked a push by more than 80 developing countries to grant the waiver.





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