Meeting discusses possible export of India's coronavirus vaccines: Sources
(Sourced from PTI)
A multi-ministerial meeting on Monday discussed various aspects of India's possible export of COVID-19 vaccines in view of requests from an increasing number of countries to procure the vaccines, people familiar with the development said. The issue was discussed extensively at the virtual meeting attended by representatives from various ministries and agencies, including the Department of Pharmaceuticals and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Ministries of Health, Commerce, External Affairs, and the Department of Pharmaceuticals are among the key stakeholders involved in the possible export of the vaccines. India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and COVAXIN, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.
While Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, COVAXIN is being produced by Bharat Biotech. Several countries have approached India for the procurement of vaccines. It is learned that India's neighboring countries are likely to get the supplies first. On Thursday, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the government is assessing the production schedules and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the decision on the supply of the vaccines "may take some time," he added. "In so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has already stated that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis," Srivastava said at a media briefing.
Worldwide, some of the vaccines that have been approved for emergency use are American Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech manufactured by China and Russia's Sputnik V. Meanwhile, the Union Health Ministry said on Monday that the number of people who have been inoculated since Saturday, when India began administrating doses of coronavirus vaccine to its citizens, stands at 3,81,305.