‘Vaccine Maitri’ to resume, India to restart COVID-19 vaccine exports to COVAX, neighbours

Washington: India’s neighborhood will get the first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines as New Delhi on Monday (September 20, 2021) announced the resumption of the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya said the country will resume exports of vaccines in the October quarter. 

“In the fourth quarter, after completing our needs, we will produce more. Excess production will help in taking vaccine maitri forward. In the 4th quarter, under the vaccine maitri, we will help the world and fulfil our responsibilities at the COVAX.”

The minister added further that in October, Indian companies will produce 26 crore doses of coronavirus vaccines. 

India, notably, has also steadily increased vaccination, and the authorities have administered over 80 crore vaccine doses so far.

The country began its vaccine maitri in January with the first tranche of Indian vaccines being sent to Maldives, Bhutan, followed by other countries in the neighborhood. 

India’s vaccine outreach to the world started within four days of it starting its mega domestic COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16. 

The initiative, however, was suspended as the country grappled with the second wave of COVID-19.

So far, under the vaccine export initiative, India has sent vaccines to as many as 95 countries across the world. The total amount of vaccines supplied is over 6.6 crore doses, of which, 1.07 crore doses have been via a grant, while 3.5 crore doses commercially and 1.9 crore doses to COVAX.

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