Union Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar on Friday (January 29) assured India’s support to the world in combating the COVID-19 challenge. The minister was replying to the comments made by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres who said India’s capacity to produce vaccines was ‘one of the best assets that the world has today’.
Jaishankar tweeted “You can count on the Pharmacy of the World to help overcome the COVID-19 challenge.”
You can count on the Pharmacy of the World to help overcome the COVID-19 challenge. https://t.co/QXHsDLEbTt
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 29, 2021
India is expecting to manufacture about 3.65 billion vaccines making it the world’s largest producer of the vaccines.
The nation has already started sending batches of Covishield vaccines to several countries around the world within a week after the rollout of the vaccine. The Covishield vaccine developed by Oxford is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
It is considered one of the most cost-effective vaccines and thus the onus is on India to deliver it to middle and low economic countries and at the same time ensuring that it has enough numbers to vaccinate its own population.
India is also part of the COVAX agreement which was initiated in April 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission, and France. Its aim is to provide innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines. Under this agreement, India will provide 50 percent of its manufactured doses to other countries.