Friday, October 29, 2021

COVID vaccine export to restart from October: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

The export of COVID 19 vaccines from India is set to start from October after being stopped in April this year due to a sudden spike in COVID 19 cases and consequent rise in domestic demand for the vaccines in the country.

 

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Monday that India will start delivering the COVID vaccine to other countries under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme from the last quarter of the year after meeting its own domestic demand. It will prioritise the global vaccine sharing platform COVAX and neighbouring countries first as supplies rise, reports Reuters.

The monthly vaccine production in the country is expected to reach over 300 million doses from next month, said the Minister.

‘Vaccine maitri’ is a humanitarian initiative of the government of India to provide COVID 19 vaccine to other countries in the world. Started in January this year, Bangladesh was among the first to receive 2 million doses of the COVID 19 vaccines from India on  January 21 as a gift.

Bangladesh had entered into an agreement for the commercial purchase of 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII). India delivered close to 10.3 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh till April which included 7 million doses as commercial supplies and the rest of it as gift from India.

The largest vaccine maker of the world, Serum Institute of India (SII)  has been able to treble its output of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to 200 million doses compared to April.

The COVID 19 situation in India has also shown remarkable improvement with active cases currently at 3.18 lakhs which is the lowest in almost 6 months. India has also been able to administer over 80.85 crore vaccine doses so far, according to the official figures.

By Rajesh Jha/Dhaka

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