HomeNATIONIndia is a true friend: US lauds India's covid-19 vaccine help to...

India is a true friend: US lauds India’s covid-19 vaccine help to neighbouring countries

The Joe Biden administation on Friday lauded India’s help to neighbioruing countries and called the country a true friend for sending covid-19 vaccine to a slew of South Asian countries, including Malfives, Bhutan and Bangladesh, to collectively combat the deadly virus.

In a tweet, the US state Department’s account for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said, “We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of covid-19 vaccine in South Asia. India’s free shipments of vaccine began with Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and will extend to others. India’s a true friend for using its pharma to global community.”

India started the supply of covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles on Wednesday under its ‘Neighbourhood First” policy on Wednesday. The jabs sent in the first shipment will be provided these countries for free as a humanitarian gesture and thereafter, the country will supply vaccine commercially to the neighbouring countries who intend to purchase.

“In keeping with this vision, we have responded positively to requests for supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from countries across the globe, starting with our neighbours,” he said, referring to the free supplies” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said.

As on date, India has sent around 1,50,000 doses of covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives, while over 2 million doses of covid-19 vaccines have been sent to Bangladesh and 1 million to Nepal.

India started world’s largest covid-19 vaccination drive with its two approved vaccine — Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by Serum Institute — on January 16. In the first phase, India is inoculating health care and frontline workers and in the second phase, the country plans to give jabs to people aged above 50 and those below 50 with comorbidities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has said that India will continue to supply the vaccinee doses all over the world while country inoculates its own people.

“This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI’s Covax facility to developing countries,” the MEA had said in a statement.

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