Indian Ambassador says the country will receive ‘significant vaccine supplies’ from the US
Taranjt Singh Sandhu (Photo: MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images).
INDIA’s envoy to the US has said that the country will be a “significant recipient” of US vaccines as president Joe Biden announced details of his administration’s decision to send 25 million Covid-19 shots to countries across the globe.
In a phone call on Thursday (3), Modi and US vice president Kamala Harris discussed efforts to improve the bilateral health supply chain, including in vaccine production, the Indian premier’s office said in a statement.
India’s Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, described the phone call as “an important conversation” focusing on vaccines, post-Covid global health and economic recovery.
“India will be a significant recipient of US vaccines as India has been included in both the identified categories in the allocation announced on Thursday- direct supply to neighbours and partner countries, and under the COVAX initiative,” Sandhu told PTI.
“The removal of the Defence Production Act priority ratings would further strengthen vaccine supply chains including for manufacturers AstraZeneca and Novavax. These developments are reflective of the firm commitment of the leadership of both India and US to work in partnership on global issues.”
Sandhu also had a substantive discussion with surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy. “We discussed India – US cooperation to contain the global pandemic, including in vaccines, and potential collaborations to ensure affordable healthcare,” the Ambassador said in a tweet.
According to the White House, nearly 19 million vaccines will be shared through COVAX. South and central American countries will receive around six million doses and Asian countries including India will get seven million vaccine doses.
Modi and Harris discussed ongoing efforts to strengthen the health supply chain between the US and India, including in the area of vaccine manufacturing.
They highlighted the potential of the India-US partnership as well as the QUAD vaccine initiative in addressing the long-term health impact of the pandemic.
“I deeply appreciate the assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the US Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing. I also thanked her for all the support and solidarity from the US government, businesses and Indian diaspora,” the prime minister said in a tweet.
India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar, who visited the US last month, said that the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccines were an important part of his discussions. He added that the endeavour was to expand the production of vaccines in India with assistance from the US.