Highlights:

  • WHO director-general has thanked Mansukh Mandaviya for renewing shipments of vaccines against the COVID-19 disease
  • India announced that export of COVID-19 vaccine to the global vaccine alliance COVAX will resume in October
  • As yet, India has inoculated nearly 820 million individuals against COVID-19, according to the official records

World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has thanked Mansukh Mandaviya, Union health minister for renewing shipments of vaccines against the COVID-19 disease to the global platforms COVAX from October.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted, “Thank you Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for announcing India will resume crucial COVID vaccine shipments to COVAX in October.” Describing it as an ‘important development’, the WHO chief hailed that India’s contribution will help all COVAX supported countries reach a 40 percent vaccination target rate by the end of the year.

India, which is the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, on Monday announced that the export of the COVID-19 vaccine to the global vaccine alliance COVAX will resume in October. The Union health minister noted that only excess supply would qualify for export. “We will help other countries and also fulfill our responsibility towards COVOVAX”, he added.

During the massive second wave of COVID-19 in the month of April, India had halted exporting doses to other countries. At that time, the government was slammed by the opposition parties for a low rate of inoculation. Prior to the export ban, the country had either sold or donated nearly 66 million doses to almost 100 countries.

Mandaviya voiced that the donations can be resumed as the total production has more than doubled since April and is set to quadruple to over 300 million doses in the coming month. The health ministry further affirmed that there was also a possibility of total vaccine production surpassing 1 million in the past three months of the year as new vaccines from companies like Biological E may receive approval soon.

The announcement comes days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Washington where US President Joe Biden will be urging for wider access to vaccines in an attempt to overcome this ongoing pandemic by 2022. As yet, India has inoculated nearly 820 million individuals against COVID-19, according to the official records.

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