Covıd-19, India, Vaccines

Covıd-19, India

India says it hopes to resume COVID-19 vaccine exports

India says it hopes to resume COVID-19 vaccine exports

19/6/2021 7:56:00 AM

India says it hopes to resume COVID-19 vaccine exports

NEW DELHI: India , the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, wants to resume exports of coronavirus jabs but cannot do so until its domestic ...

AsiaFILE PHOTO: A nurse displays a vial of COVISHIELD, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at a medical centre in Mumbai, India, on Jan 16, 2021. (Reuters/Francis Mascarenhas)19 Jun 2021 12:46PMShare this content

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BookmarkNEW DELHI: India, the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, wants to resume exports of coronavirus jabs but cannot do so until its domestic needs are met, the head of the country’s COVID-19 task force said on Friday (Jun 18).“Once our immediate need of vaccinating a significant proportion of Indian people is achieved and vaccine stockpiles are visible from multiple sources, we would then like to play the role of serving others and providing vaccines to them,” Dr Vinod K Paul said in an interview with The Associated Press.

AdvertisementAdvertisementPaul defended the Indian government’s move to restrict vaccine exports in April as it battled a ferocious surge in infections.He noted that India had given away a “substantial” amount of vaccines at the start of the year as it launched its own immunisation drive. “So that has to be respected and has to be recognized, as not many nations have done that,” he said.

From January, India began exporting vaccines to more than 90 countries. But the exports stopped when infections soared in India, leaving many developing countries without adequate supplies and affecting millions of people.As critics accused India of mismanaging its sluggish vaccination efforts at home, countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh began looking toward China to fill their vaccine shortfalls.

AdvertisementAdvertisementREAD: India’s second COVID-19 wave sparks selfless acts, but the battle is far from overThe Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, also abandoned its role as the main supplier to COVAX, the UN-backed project to supply vaccines to poor regions of the world. Last month, it said it may not be able to start delivering doses until the end of this year, dealing a significant blow to global efforts to immunise people against the coronavirus.

Paul said a resumption of exports is still “very much on the radar”. But when asked when the restrictions would be lifted, he answered, “It is not fair to put any date at this point in time."Confirmed coronavirus cases in India have surpassed 29 million, while deaths have surged beyond 380,000. Experts believe both numbers are vast undercounts.

AdvertisementMedia reports have cast doubts on the government’s data collection, with crematoriums and statewide tallies of deaths showing different figures. Paul said the government has no reason to hide deaths or cases.New cases are finally tapering off after exceeding 400,000 a day in May, a global record. But authorities are gearing up for another possible wave of infection and are focusing on yanking vaccination rates up.

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Currently, less than 5 per cent of India’s people are fully immunised, with experts cautioning that vaccination rates must go up significantly to protect a sizable chunk of the population by the end of the year.READ: Young, Indian, unvaccinated: The world's largest inoculation drive falters

The hope is that India will achieve a rapid increase in inoculations in the coming months. Last month, Paul told reporters that about 2 billion doses could be available by December under a roadmap that depends on India’s two main suppliers - Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech - ramping up production and five other potential vaccines being made available in the coming months.

But experts and critics pointed out that both Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech have struggled to boost manufacturing, and that the other potential vaccines are still undergoing trials with no clear date for when they would be available, raising questions over whether Paul’s estimate was realistic.

Paul acknowledged Friday that it was an “optimistic” projection. But he said it was based on estimates by the manufacturers themselves and that the figure showed “there is the potential".“We are also mindful of the fact that there are steps to be met,” he said, conceding that vaccine makers may face regulatory hurdles or trouble obtaining raw materials.

He said India can expect to see at least 740 million doses between August and December. But this includes 300 million of a vaccine that is still in late testing and not yet available. More orders will be placed in the future, he added.While much of India’s vast rural hinterlands were largely spared from COVID-19 last year, that has not been the case during the recent surge. Access to healthcare is much more limited in the countryside, raising fears that the virus could rip through small towns and villages unabated.

READ: In rural India, fear of testing and vaccines hampers COVID-19 fightGoing forward, the focus will have to shift to these small towns and villages, Paul said. Read more: CNA »

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Don't help India lazy GREEDY thing they are la! They lazy to do clean,even their home r terrible dirty they don't care! they4ever sick! How much u give,they won't recover! Silly2waste OURhard workg$on such lazy Selfish greedy💩!They like2use ppl 2do thing4them&take ur$enjoy only Breaking news. When China managed to export in a similar population and less vaccine production capacity, why can't India? Only difference is no body complains in China where as many more including media shouts.

What exports? There are not enough vaccines for their own people. Trying to get one and not able to inspite of being a front line worker. Supposed to be free vaccination in govt health centers but people who pay get preference. It's pathetic in Bangalore. when it cannot give second dose even after 60 days 😂😂

Earthing is good for health,free & effortless,it's easy to DIY a grounding mat,pillow or sheet,no need to buy.👣🌎🙏 Chronic pain,high blood pressure, headache,anxiety,diabetes,migraine,inflammation,arthritis,cancer,heart disease,stroke rehabilitation&etc. India is a failure

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