India can be part of COVAX global vaccine allocation plan: WHO
New Delhi/IBNS: The World Health Organization (WHO) is in talks with India about the Asian country's joining the 'COVAX' global vaccine allocation plan, media reports said on Monday.
"India is certainly eligible, like all countries in the world, to be part of the COVAX facility and discussions are ongoing in that regard," Bruce Aylward told a briefing in Geneva, news agency Reuters reported.
"We would welcome Indian participation... India has extensive experience (with vaccines)," Aylward said.
WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance are leading the COVAX endeavour, which is aimed at facilitating buying and distributing the vaccine shots against the deadly novel coronavirus across the world.
The United States, however, will not join COVAX as it will have its own supplies through bilateral deals.
GAVI on its website said: "With COVID-19 now reported in almost all GAVI-eligible countries, the Vaccine Alliance is providing immediate funding to health systems, enabling countries to protect health care workers, perform vital surveillance and training, and purchase diagnostic tests."
India's Health Minister Harsh Vardhan last month said the country's first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available by end of this year.
"One of our COVID-19 vaccine candidates is in the third phase of the clinical trial. We are very confident that a vaccine will be developed by end of this year," he had said.
This comes at a time when India is adding over 90,000 cases of coronavirus infection daily and has surpassed Brazil to become the second-worst affected nation globally.