New agreement to boost vaccine production under Quad partnership for Indo-Pacific in the offing

An agreement on a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Hyderabad to support the Quad’s plan of delivering one billion doses of Covid-19 shots will be signed during an upcoming visit to India by the US development bank’s chief
The US delegation will “participate in a signing ceremony to open a new facility” in Hyderabad, “with substantial capacity for vaccine manufacturing”. (PTI)
The US delegation will “participate in a signing ceremony to open a new facility” in Hyderabad, “with substantial capacity for vaccine manufacturing”. (PTI)
Published on Oct 16, 2021 03:04 PM IST
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An agreement on a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Hyderabad to support the Quad’s plan of delivering one billion doses of Covid-19 shots will be signed during an upcoming visit to India by the US development bank’s chief.

US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) chief operating officer David Marchick will travel to South Africa and India during October 18-26 to take forward investments to boost global health and expand Covid-19 vaccine production across the developing world.

Marchick and his delegation will travel to Hyderabad after arriving in India on October 24 to visit Biological E, which has been selected to produce one billion doses of vaccines to be rolled out by the end of 2022 under the vaccine partnership launched by the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad.

The US delegation will “participate in a signing ceremony to open a new facility with substantial capacity for vaccine manufacturing”, according to a statement from the DFC.

“This work is in support of the historic commitment set out by President [Joe] Biden and his counterparts in the Quad – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States,” the statement added.

In South Africa, the DFC delegation will visit Africa Data Centres, which is developing critical technology infrastructure across Africa, and meet pharmaceutical manufacturers critical to the Covid-19 response.

Biden had said at the first in-person Quad leaders’ summit in Washington on September 24 that the vaccine partnership is on track to produce one billion doses in India to boost global supply.

Aid from the DFC is aimed at boosting vaccine manufacturing capacity in several regions of the world. This support is projected to facilitate capacity expansion to produce nearly two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses around the world by the end of 2022.

A joint statement issued at the conclusion of the Quad leaders’ summit last month said additional production will come on line in India later this year due to the Quad vaccine partnership’s financing of increased manufacturing capacity at Biological E.

These doses will be exported to countries in the Indo-Pacific and other parts of the world to overcome a continuing global supply gap. The Quad will coordinate with multilateral initiatives such as the WHO-backed COVAX Facility to procure safe and quality-assured vaccines for low and middle-income countries.

The Quad has also launched a vaccine experts group that is working to align the plans of India, Australia, Japan and the US to support health security and the Covid-19 response across the Indo-Pacific. This includes coordination of efforts to support the production of safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines and equitable access.

The members of the Quad have pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses globally, and they have so far delivered nearly 79 million jabs to countries in the Indo-Pacific.

The Quad summit also welcomed India’s announcement on resuming vaccine exports, which had been halted in March after the country was hit by a devastating second wave of infections. Since vaccine exports resumed recently, India has sent one million doses of Covishield to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar, and 300,000 doses of Covaxin to Iran.

Japan will help regional partners purchase vaccines through a Covid-19 crisis response emergency support loan of $3.3 billion, and Australia will provide $212 million in grants to purchase vaccines for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Australia will also allocate $219 million to support last-mile vaccine rollouts and lead Quad’s last-mile delivery efforts.

Besides the Covid-19 response and pandemic preparedness, the Quad is also working on infrastructure, resilient supply chains, clean energy, maritime security, approaches to deploy 5G infrastructure that use open and interoperable network architectures, and emerging technologies.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021