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WHO chief thanks Mansukh Mandaviya for resuming vaccine exports to COVAX pool

Sharing a tweet, the WHO chief wrote, “Thank you Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for announcing India will resume crucial Covid vaccine shipments to COVAX in October.”
Calling it an “important development”, the WHO chief further said India’s contribution will help all COVAX-supported countries reach the 40 per cent vaccination target rate by the end of the year.(REUTERS)
Published on Sep 22, 2021 10:56 AM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Ayshee Bhaduri | Edited by Sohini Goswami, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has thanked Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya for resuming shipments of vaccines against the coronavirus disease to the global platform COVAX from October.

Sharing a tweet, Ghebreyesus wrote, “Thank you Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for announcing India will resume crucial Covid vaccine shipments to COVAX in October.”

Calling it an “important development”, the WHO chief further said India’s contribution will help all COVAX-supported countries reach the 40 per cent vaccination target rate by the end of the year.

On Monday, India, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, said exports of Covid-19 vaccines to the global vaccine alliance Covax will resume in October. Mandaviya said only excess supplies would qualify for export. "We will help other countries and also fulfil our responsibility towards COVAX," he told reporters.

India had put a pause on exporting the doses in April after infections skyrocketed during the second wave of Covid-19 and the government was subjected to intense criticism by the opposition parties for a low rate of inoculation. Before the export ban came into force, India had either sold or donated 66 million doses to nearly 100 countries.

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Mandaviya said donations can now be resumed since total productions have more than doubled since April and is set to quadruple to over 300 million doses next month. There was also a possibility of the total vaccine production topping 1 million in the last three months of the year as new vaccines from companies such as Biological E may receive approval soon, the health minister said.

The Union government’s resumption of vaccine donations to global alliance COVAX came days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Washington where US President Joe Biden will be pushing for wider access to vaccines for bringing an end to the ongoing pandemic by 2022.

India has inoculated at least 820 million beneficiaries against Covid-19 till Tuesday, official records showed.

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