US to send 4 million doses of vaccine to India

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According to Biden’s plan, of its first 25 million doses, about seven million are allocated for Asia, especially India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Vietnam, reports Asian Lite News

Covid-19 vaccine donation from the US is set to reach India within the next few days. US is likely to send around 3-4 million doses of the vaccine via COVAX, sources said.

Moreover, India will also receive doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine via COVAX after the legal formalities are completed in India. Moderna Covid-19 vaccine received emergency use authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in June end.

President Joe Biden had in June announced the US’ plan to distribute 80 million coronavirus vaccine doses before July, with 75 percent of shots disbursed via the COVAX program.

In a fact sheet, the White House said that for the doses shared through COVAX, Washington would prioritize countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa as it aims to help stave off fresh surges of infections.

Biden had earlier pledged to export 60 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world. It was later bumped up to 80 million.

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According to the US plan, of its first 25 million doses, about seven million are allocated for Asia, especially India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Vietnam.

Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by Gavi.

Gavi, a public-private partnership, manages the program along with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the WHO and UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency that helps deploy doses once they get delivered to recipient countries in the COVAX program.

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Last week, describing India as an important friend and ally of the United States, top American lawmakers on Monday urged the Biden administration to help facilitate assistance for the country that has been gravely impacted by the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Senior American lawmakers had taken up the floor of the US House of Representatives in support of the House Resolution that urges the Biden administration to facilitate private, in-kind medical supply donations to India and work to deliver additional, urgently needed medical supplies to India, including oxygen generator plants and a cryogenic oxygen tanker and containers.

Introduced by Congressmen Brad Sherman and Steve Chabot, co-chairs of the India Caucus, the bipartisan resolution stands with the people of India as they collectively work to stem the spread of Covid-19 throughout the country.

Congresswoman Young Kim said in the spring of 2020, when the United States was experiencing a spike in Covid-19 cases, India came to its aid and lifted its export ban on certain drugs in response to a request by the United States.

On 3 June, US vice president Kamala Harris telephoned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among other world leaders, to explain the Biden administration’s plans to donate 25 million of a possible 80 million doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccines.

The US said 19 million vaccine doses were to be shared with COVAX—an international coalition under the World Health Organization aiming for the equitable delivery of covid-19 vaccines to poor countries. The rest was to be shared with “countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbours, including Canada, Mexico, India, and the Republic of Korea”, US president Joe Biden said in a statement that also recalled that he had previously stated that “by the end of June, the United States will share 80 million doses of our vaccine supply with the world”.

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