India is the largest manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccine at present with Serum Institute of India producing more than 100 million doses every month. Despite producing vaccines at such a large scale, the government imposed ban on vaccine export to meet the domestic demand. India saw a sharp surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the month of March and April this year. The government resorted to increasing vaccination drives to contain the spread of the virus.
Biden’s incentive to Modi for lifting vaccine export ban:
The Biden Administration offered PM Narendra Modi a better role at the upcoming global COVID-19 global summit if India lifts vaccine export ban. PM Modi flew to US this morning to attend the summit of Quad leaders. PM will also address the UN General Assembly.
The US government wanted to maintain the global vaccine supply and was impressed by the Indian vaccine production capacity.”We commend India for being one of the largest manufacturers for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines globally, and we note that COVAX and the world rely heavily on India’s contribution,” said a US administration official in an interview. “Its important for the US to engage all our allies and partners so we can take necessary actions to end this pandemic,” he added.
When is vaccine export likely to resume?
Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya said that the much awaited COVID-19 vaccine export will restart in the fourth quarter. Considering that the curve of COVID cases has finally started to flatten, and since India expects a surplus supply of vaccines, the government has decided to lift the restriction. Vaccine exports are likely to start from October.
“The country’s surplus supply of vaccines must be used to fulfill India’s commitment to the world for collective fight against pandemic,” Mandviya said.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian’s opinion on vaccine export resumption:
Ma Subramanian, Health Minister-Tamil Nadu suggested the Central Government to deffer vaccine export. “115 crore doses are required at the national level. We need to expand vaccination for the 12-18 age group as well. In such a situation, how will it be appropriate to export vaccines?” Subramanian said.
He also pointed out that Tamil Nadu is facing a vaccine shortage. Due to the shortage, vaccine camps in the state had to be shut down on Monday and Tuesday.
Citing the government data, Subramanian pointed out that more than 97 crore Indians were eligible for inoculation. Out of which, just 80 crore beneficiaries have received the jab(s).
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
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