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India supplies 23 million Covid-19 vaccines to 20 countries
Coronavirus Vaccine

India supplies 23 million Covid-19 vaccines to 20 countries

| @indiablooms | 13 Feb 2021, 12:30 am

New Delhi/IBNS: India has supplied nearly 23 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine globally, both as aid and commercial supplies, and more units will be sent to countries in Latin America and Africa in the coming weeks.

"Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, as of date, we have supplied a total of 229.7 lakh doses to the global community. Of these, 64.7 lakh doses have been supplied as grant while 165 lakh doses have been supplied on a commercial basis," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a news briefing on Friday.

The Vaccine Maitri initiative began on January 21 and earned India considerable goodwill, especially with small countries like Commonwealth of Dominica. 

The countries that received the vaccine as grants has noted that India has supplied the doses despite undertaking world's largest vaccination drive.

The following countries have received supplies as gifts: Bangladesh (20 Lakhs), Myanmar (17 Lakhs), Nepal (10 Lakhs), Bhutan (1.5 Lakhs), Maldives (1 Lakh), Mauritius (1 Lakh), Seychelles (50000), Sri Lanka ( 5 Lakhs), Bahrain (1 Lakh), Oman (1 lakh), Afghanistan (5 Lakhs), Barbados (1 Lakh) and Dominica (70000).

The following countries have received vaccine supplies on commercial basis: Brazil (20 Lakhs), Morocco (60 Lakhs), Bangladesh (50 lakhs), Myanmar (20 lakhs), Egypt (50000), Algeria (50000), South Africa (10 Lakhs), Kuwait (2 Lakhs) and UAE (2 Lakhs).

The Indian government prioritised the supply of vaccine doses to its immediate neighbours, keeping with its "Neighbourhood First Policy". 

"We will continue to take forward the global vaccine supply initiative and cover more countries in a phased manner. In the coming weeks, vaccines will be supplied to more countries in Africa, Latin America, CARICOM and Pacific Island states," Srivastava stated.

A Hindustan Times report noted that AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute in India has helped the government  to roll out the doses to stride ahead of China in vaccine diplomacy. 

Chinese vaccines have been approved only by a handful of countries in the region and so far it has supplied vaccines only to Pakistan and Nepal.

"Decisions on vaccine supplies will, of course, be calibrated as per domestic production and the requirements of the national vaccination programme," the MEA spokesperson stated.

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