COVID-19: Vaccine export to resume from next month, says Mandaviya

More than 300 million doses will be produced in October and more than a billion in the next quarter, according to Mansukh Mandaviya

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 20 September 2021
MEA Secretary (West), Reenat Sandhu with WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus earlier this month. Photo: @DrTedros / Twitter__

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya September 20, 2021, announced the resumption of the export of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines starting from October 2021. 

The Vaccine Maitri policy of the Union government had come in for a lot of flak earlier this year when the second wave of COVID-19 had swept across India.

The government and especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come in for criticism as thousands died in the months of April and May.

If India-made Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune as ‘Covishield’, as well as ‘Covaxin’ made by Bharat Biotech Intl Ltd had been used to inoculate Indian citizens rather being sent abroad, many lives would been saved, it was felt.

The government halted the export of the vaccines following the wave. This led to many countries, especially in Africa being left without an adequate supply of vaccines.

India will resume the export of vaccines under Vaccine Maitri in order to fulfil its commitment towards COVAX, Mandaviya told journalists. This would be in line with India’s motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, meaning the whole world is a family, he added.

The surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfil India’s commitment towards the world for the collective fight against COVID-19, Mandaviya said.

COVAX is the international vaccine initiative, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or CEPI and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The health minister said India’s vaccination drive had been a role model for the world and it was marching ahead with great speed. “We have crossed the 10 million vaccination mark more than four times since the vaccination drive was commenced January 16,” he said.

More than 300 million doses would be produced in October and more than a billion in the next quarter, Mandaviya said.

There were 318,181 active COVID-19 cases as on 8 AM September 20, according to the Union health ministry website.

Some 32,715,105 patients had been discharged since the beginning of the pandemic. There also had been 445,133 deaths. A total of 80, 85,68,144 had been vaccinated.

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