Several billboards came up in the Greater Toronto area, which thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for providing COVID vaccines to Canada.
One of the billboards said, “Thank You India & PM Narendra Modi for providing COVID vaccine to Canada, long live Canada India friendship.”
This comes after India provided COVID-19 vaccines to Canada under its vaccine diplomacy exercise Vaccine Maitri. Canada received 500,000 doses of Oxford’s Covishield vaccine which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India on March 4. A further 1.5 million doses will be delivered to the nation in the following batches.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he had asked India for the delivery of the vaccines. Prime Minister Modi had assured Trudeau that India would do all in its capacity to ‘facilitate supplies of COVID vaccines sought by Canada’.
Canadian Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand had received the first batch on behalf of her country and thanked the Serum Institute of India for their hard work.
India has sent batches of vaccines to several countries majority of which are poor economies. India is expected to produce 3.6 billion doses of the COVID vaccine which makes it an important partner in the vaccination drive across the world.
The nation has already started its vaccination drive on January 16, 2021, after the government granted Oxford’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin emergency use authorisation.
Many countries in the world are unable to afford vaccines manufactured by Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna and are looking towards India for vaccination. Many of the doses provided are free of cost as they come under the COVAX agreement of the World Health Organisation.
Furthermore, Pakistan is also set to receive 16 million ‘Made in India’ Covishield vaccine doses under the Gavi alliance. The first batch of the vaccine is expected to reach Pakistan by mid-March while the rest of it will be delivered by June.