India has extended its vaccination drive to foreign missions based in the country. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sent the offer to the mission, requesting them to respond by the 29th of January. India began its mega vaccination drive on the January 16 and so far over 16 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated against COVID.

December saw India taking over 50 foreign envoys based in Delhi to the southern city of Hyderabad to showcase the country's vaccine production center at two biotechnology companies-- Bharat Biotech and Biological E. During the one-day visit, the foreign envoys were briefed on India's indigenous efforts to develop COVID-19 vaccines and the clinical trials.

A release by MEA said, "India's R&D facilities, manufacturing capacity, foreign collaborations, etc in the fields of pharmaceuticals, including vaccine production, were highlighted....India is committed to partnering with all interested countries in vaccine-related efforts, in the service of humanity."

India has been briefing the foreign envoys all through 2020 on its action plans to deal with the COVID pandemic. The most important of such meetings was in November when Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla met the envoys in Delhi and gave a detailed presentation on India's response to the crisis. Around 190 heads of diplomatic missions were present in the briefing that took place in Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan.

Meanwhile, India's vaccine diplomacy continues with Bangladesh getting the first contracted commercial supplies later today. Go ahead to commercial supplies was given on Friday with COVID vaccine supplies reaching Brazil and Morrocco. Last week, New Delhi sent COVID vaccine gift to seven countries in the region--Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Seychelles, and Mauritius. Sri Lanka will get India's COVID vaccine gift later this week.



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