Awaiting greenlight from India to send COVID-19 vaccine help: US
The United States on Tuesday said that it is ready to ship its COVID-19 vaccines expeditiously when it has the green light from the Indian Government which has told the Americans that it needs further time to review legal provisions related to accepting vaccine donations. The Biden Administration has announced to share 80 million doses from its domestic stockpile with various countries, including India.
US vaccines have reached Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, among other countries
In recent weeks, the US vaccines have landed in various countries, including Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. However, India is yet to clear the legal hurdles for such an emergency import. "Before we can ship those doses, however, each country must complete its own domestic set of operational, regulatory, and legal processes that are specific to each country," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.
Roughly 40 million doses have been delivered so far: Price
"We would need to refer you to the Indian Government on the status of its discussions with COVAX, which, in this case, is helping to facilitate that delivery," Price said. "Broadly in the region, throughout South Asia, we're donating millions of vaccines to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Roughly 40 million doses have been delivered worldwide so far," he added.
We are partnering to strengthen global response to COVID-19: Price
Responding to another question, Price said that the COVID-19 cooperation between the two countries is built on decades of successful partnership in health and biomedical research. "We are partnering to strengthen the global response to COVID-19 on issues ranging from addressing infectious disease outbreaks to strengthening health systems to securing global supply chains," he said.
India, US further working on diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines
"We recently welcomed an initiative to collaborate through the International Center of Excellence in Research focused on infectious diseases, and in this case that includes COVID-19 and other emerging threats," Price said. The two countries are further working on diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines to combat the disease and to recognize the importance of manufacturing critical drugs during this time and to make them accessible globally.