India has invited Pakistani diplomats for its covid vaccination drive as part of the offer to the entire diplomatic community-based in the national capital Delhi. The offer to the foreign diplomats based in Delhi is in line with India's domestic vaccine rollout. Pakistan still has to take a call on if its diplomats will take part in the vaccination drive.

India has been in past reaching out to foreign diplomats on its vaccination drive and how it is dealing with the covid crisis. December saw over 50 foreign envoys being taken to the southern city of Hyderabad to showcase the country's vaccine production centres at 2 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 vaccines and 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."

Earlier in November, foreign envoys were briefed on the action plan to deal with the covid crisis by Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla. Around 190 heads of diplomatic missions were present in the briefing that took place in Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan.

India began its mega vaccination drive on January 16 and so far over 41 lakh healthcare workers have been vaccinated against COVID. This even as India has gifted India-manufactured vaccines to more than 10 countries in the region and many West Asian countries. In the neighbourhood four countries -- Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka began their vaccination drive in last two weeks using India-manufactured and India gifted vaccines.  In contrast, Pakistan began its vaccination on Tuesday with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan thanking China for sending 50,000 doses of its covid vaccine-Sinopharm.

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