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20 Jan, 2021 13:44

‘Pharmacy of the world’: India exports first Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring nations

‘Pharmacy of the world’: India exports first Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring nations

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has exported its first batches of Covid-19 vaccines to partner nations Bhutan and the Maldives. The first jab New Delhi is shipping is the AstraZeneca one.

Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, announced on Twitter that the country has begun supplying domestically manufactured Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring and partner nations, including Bhutan and the Maldives, confirming their arrival on Wednesday morning.

Bangladesh is set to receive two million doses on Thursday, with a further 30 million on order, allowing it to begin inoculating its residents. Other countries, including Brazil, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka have requested support from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar explained how doses will be delivered to low- and middle-income developing nations, with India providing support to medical staff abroad to ensure they are trained to roll out a smooth vaccine distribution program. 

The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge.

The government is currently only exporting the AstraZeneca vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India, under the name Covidshield. As the world’s largest vaccine manufacture, India currently makes around half of the world’s vaccine supplies, according to the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance.

India has authorized the use of two vaccines domestically, including the AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech jabs. The country is expected to sign off on the use of two other vaccines in the next few months. As such, the government is looking at expanding its export program.

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India has reported over 10.5 million cases of coronavirus and more than 152,000 fatalities since the start of the pandemic. Around 670,000 people have so far been vaccinated in the country, with those inoculated mainly being frontline workers.

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