India to resume vaccine exports under 'Vaccine Maitri' from October
“Resuming of Vaccine Maitri in the fourth quarter starting October 2021,” Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya said.
New Delhi: India is set to restart the export of Covid-19 vaccines under Vaccine Maitri initiative in October, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday.
The health ministry said added that Vaccine Maitri, which is India’s initiative to provide Covid vaccines to countries around the world, will resume in the fourth quarter starting October this year.
Addressing the media, Mandaviya added that decision to resume vaccine exports has been taken “in order to fulfil the commitment of India towards COVAX, in line with our motto Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.
However, vaccinating India's own citizens remains the topmost priority of the government, he said.
He said that the surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfill India's commitment towards the world for the collective fight against Covid-19.
Covax is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO.
Highlighting the importance of indigenous research and production of Covid vaccines in India, Mansukh Mandaviya said, "It is due to the relentless efforts and guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that India was simultaneously undertaking Research and production of Covid vaccines in line with the global developments."
"India's vaccination drive has been a role model for the world and it is marching ahead with great speed... More than 4 times we have crossed one crore since the Vaccination drive was commenced on 16th January," the minister added.
As part of the Vaccine Maitri initiative earlier this year, India had supplied over 66 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to more than 70 countries.
Some of the beneficiaries of the Vaccine Maitri initiative were Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Brazil, Morocco, South Africa, Afghanistan, Mexico, DR Congo, Nigeria and the UK.
When India was facing a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines for the domestic market in the backdrop of the ferocious second wave, the initiative came to a halt in April.
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