Washington: The US government on Friday has redirected orders of critical vaccine manufacturing supplies, which will allow India to make over 20 million additional doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The information was shared by Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South & Central Asian Affairs, Dean Thompson. “We’ve redirected one of our own orders of critical vaccine manufacturing supplies, which will allow India to make over 20 million additional doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine,” said Dean Thompson.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is also on an official trip to the US. He met US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon during which they discussed shared priorities and exchanged views on a range of regional security challenges, the Department of Defence has said. Jaishankar, who is on an official trip to the US, is the first Indian Cabinet minister to visit the country since Joe Biden became US president on January 20.
“I had a terrific meeting with @DrSJaishankar today. He graciously hosted me in India in March, and I was delighted to return his hospitality. The @deptofdefence is deeply committed to strengthening our partnership with India as we work together to uphold a #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific,” Austin tweeted after the meeting on Friday. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Austin and Jaishankar discussed “shared priorities in the US-India strategic partnership and exchanged views on a range of regional security challenges”.
US has provided over USD 500 million in COVID-19 relief supplies to India to fight against the pandemic. “In total, the US government, state governments, US companies, and private citizens have provided over USD 500 million in COVID-19 relief supplies to India,” said the Acting Assistant Secretary.
Jaishankar on Friday (local time) expressed gratitude to the United States for strong support and solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The minister’s counterpart, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the two countries were united in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic together. Earlier, the White House had announced that the US will be sending 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to other countries starting from June 2021.
(With ANI & PTI inputs)