Could have immense positive impact: Gavi on India's move to export Covid-19 vax
Global vaccine alliance Gavi expressed its willingness to engage with the Indian government and Pune-based Serum Institute of India on Tuesday, a day after the health ministry announced its decision to resume export of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) from October.
“We welcome news reports that India is to resume exports of Covid-19 vaccines to the rest of the world. This could have an immense positive impact on both health security within India as well as globally,” a Gavi spokesperson was quoted saying by news agency ANI.
Union health and family welfare minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said India will resume export of Covid-19 vaccines under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative to fulfil the country's commitmment towards COVAX.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organisation (WHO), and aims at equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, particularly focusing on the low and middle income countries.
The spokesperson said the Gavi wants to understand the impact of India's decision to supply Covid-19 vaccines on its schedule.
“Our priority right now is to engage with the government of India and Serum Institute of India to understand the impact this will have on our supply schedule, as we race to protect as many vulnerable people as we can from Covid-19,” the spokesperson added.
India exported around 66.4 million doses of Covishield and Covaxin to 95 countries till April this year, until after the deadly second wave of Covid-19 disease wreaked havoc in the country and almost destabilised its healthcare system. The Indian vaccine supplies included grants, commercial export and doses for the COVAX facility.
India ramped up its vaccination drive, especially since battling the second wave of the infection, and has inoculated 81 crore of its adult population so far. The health ministry said on Monday that close to 65% eligible beneficiaries have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine in India.