West Indies batsman Chris Gayle on Friday (March 19) thanked the Indian Prime Minister, the people, and the government of India for providing COVID vaccines to Jamaica. A video shared by the Indian embassy in Jamaica said “Legendary Jamaican & WI Cricketer @henrygayle thanks PM@narendramodi, the People and Government of #India for the gift of #MadeInIndia Vaccine to #Jamaica.”
Legendary Jamaican & WI Cricketer @henrygayle thanks PM @narendramodi, the People and Government of #India for the gift of #MadeInIndia Vaccine to #Jamaica#VaccineMaitri @PMOIndia @DrSJaishankar @MEAIndia @IndianDiplomacy pic.twitter.com/fLBbhF5zTY
— India in Jamaica (@hcikingston) March 19, 2021
In the video shared by the Indian embassy, the explosive left-handed batsman said “Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Modi, people of India, the government of India. I want to thank you all for the donations of vaccines to Jamaica. We appreciate it and thank you so much. India I’ll be seeing you soon all right thanks again, love and appreciate.”
India is estimated to produce 3.6 billion doses of COVID vaccine annually which is the largest of any country in the world. This makes it a key ally in the fight against COVID. The nation has been supplying the COVID vaccine as aid and on contracts to several countries many of which are middle and low-income economies.
India started its vaccination drive on January 16, 2021, after approving Oxford’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for emergency use authorisation. The country is supplying vaccines to these countries under its vaccine diplomacy program Vaccine Maitri and the WHO partnership COVAX.
COVAX is an agreement that was conceptualised in April 2020 by the WHO, the European Commission, and France. The idea was to bring ‘ together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society, and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.’
The need for the COVAX agreement was highlighted further when it was noticed that developed economies had stocked advance order of COVID vaccine well beyond their requirements. Guterres had said in February that a total of 130 countries were yet to receive a single dose of COVD vaccine.
COVAX is based on four approaches which are:
- Connecting companies who are producing vaccines with other companies who have excess capacity to fill and finish.
- Bilateral technology transfer through which the company can transfer its patent to another company to produce vaccines.
- Coordinated technology transfer under which universities and manufacturers will license their vaccines to other companies through a global mechanism coordinated by WHO, which will also involve training of staff at the recipient companies and coordinate investments in infrastructure.
- Giving countries across the world the right to manufacture vaccines by waiving of intellectual property rights as provided by the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.