India will soon be shipping Covid-19 vaccines — the locally developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India-manufactured Covishield — to several neighbouring and friendly countries.
Union ministers for health and external affairs, representatives of the department of pharmaceuticals and executives from Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India met in the Capital on Monday to discuss supply of vaccines to foreign nations.India has decided to export 8.1 lakh doses of Covaxin to Oman, Mongolia, Myanmar, Bahrain, Mauritius, the Philippines and the Maldives as a goodwill gesture, people in the know said. Government sources said Serum would supply a few lakh doses of Covishield to the Seychelles, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, but did not give exact numbers. It is learnt that Serum has 25 million doses allotted for exports.
All these countries will have to get the regulatory dossiers approved by their own authorities before the vaccines are supplied. “All this has to be done before January 23,” a government official said.
“In the meeting today, it was decided that India will cater to its own needs and will set aside vaccines for neighbouring countries,” a person in the government told ET.
India had sent hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to about 140 countries in the initial months of the pandemic.
Both Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute of India have also separately signed deals with foreign countries to supply vaccines.
Serum has signed a deal with South Africa to supply 1.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines. In the first tranche of the order, it will supply 1 million doses in January and the remaining 500,000 doses in February, a statement from South Africa’s minister for health Zwelini Mkhize had said.Brazil has tied up with Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech to source its Covid-19 vaccine.
Serum is a supplier to the WHO-COVAX facility too, where it has agreed to supply 200 million initial doses with an option to provide an additional 900 million doses of either the AstraZeneca-Oxford or Novavax vaccine, for low- and middle-income countries.
Source: The Economic Times