Rest of Asia

India says no export ban on Covid-19 vaccines

PTI/New Delhi
Filed on April 2, 2021
Employees pack boxes containing vials of Covid-19 vaccine at Serum Institute of India in Pune, India. Serum Institute of India has been contracted to manufacture a billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. — AP file

Official says India has already supplied over 64 million doses of Covid vaccine to 80 countries

Asserting that India has not imposed any export ban on anti-coronavirus vaccines, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said the country has taken the lead in sending vaccines abroad with over 640 lakh (64 million) doses supplied to more than 80 countries till now. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also said the ministry’s ‘Vaccine Maitree’ initiative to supply vaccines abroad has been “very successful and very well liked” by partners across the world.

“As on date, under the ‘Vaccine Maitree’ initiative, we have supplied a total of about 64.4 million doses to the global community and of these, 10.4 million doses have been supplied as a grant, 35.7 million doses on a commercial basis and 18.2 million doses through the Covax initiative,” Bagchi said at an online media briefing.

With regard to the demand for made-in-India vaccines, many countries across the world have been requesting for their supply, he said.

“I don’t have an exact number for what is the demand (for the vaccines) because it is a request based on the requirement of countries,” Bagchi said.

“The ‘Vaccine Maitree’ initiative has been extremely successful and very well-liked by our partners across the world and we are continuing to try to supply to the extent possible given our domestic requirements,” he added.

Asked about reports that Nepal has approached India to procure 5 million more vaccine doses but has not got any response, he said India has taken the lead on sending vaccines abroad.

“No country has shared with the world the number of vaccines that India has while vaccinating its own population. Till now, we have supplied vaccines to more than 80 countries across the world and we have already stated that our external supplies would be done keeping in mind our domestic requirements,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“At this time, I hope our partners understand that vaccines are primarily purposed for domestic consumption. I want to emphasise that we have not imposed any export ban on vaccines,” Bagchi asserted.

Regarding the concerns of other countries, India’s position has been suitably conveyed through its official channels, he added.

India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring anti-coronavirus vaccines.

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