Vaccine diplomacy: 37% doses exported are grants | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Between mid-January and the second week of February, India exported more than 1.6 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 20 countries, helping save lives. The exports went to countries in the immediate neighbourhood to West Asia Africa and the Americas. About 62.7 lakh doses (or 37%) of these exports are gifts to friendly countries.

Data made public by the Union ministry of health shows India will earn revenue from shipments of about 63% of the vaccines sent to UAE, Kuwait, South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Brazil and Bangladesh. Together, these countries received more than 1 crore doses, all supplied between January 25 and February 2.
Of these, Bangladesh (50 lakh doses) followed by Brazil and Morocco (20 lakh each) have purchased the highest number, while South Africa bought 10 lakh doses. Four other countries together purchased 5 lakh doses.
The health ministry says vaccines are being exported only after a thorough review of the demand here in India and that it won’t affect the country’s requirements. As on date, India has already given the first dose of the vaccine to more than 70 lakh people — of the targeted 3 crore in the first phase (healthcare and frontline workers) — and some 7,000 of them have received the second dose too.
Bangladesh also tops the list of countries that received vaccines as a gift from India with 20 lakh doses. Myanmar and Nepal, with 15 lakh and 10 lakh doses respectively, are the two other big beneficiaries, followed by Afghanistan (5 lakh), Sri Lanka (5 lakh) and Bhutan (1.5 lakh).
Other than the countries in the immediate neighbourhood, India has gifted another 6.2 lakh doses cumulatively to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Bahrain, Oman, Barbados and Dominica.
As a member of COVAX facility — the initiative for equitable vaccine distribution created by the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization (Gavi), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO — India is both a recipient of vaccines from the facility as well as a supplier of vaccines.
In addition to COVAX facility, external supplies have been made bilaterally through gifts by the government of India and commercial sales by the manufacturers.


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Sagar Biswas

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