In a major outreach, India will be giving one crore (10 million) doses of India-made COVID-19 vaccines to Africa under GAVI's Covax facility. Not just that, New Delhi will be giving 10 lakh (1 million) doses to UN health workers using the same method.
GAVI or Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization was created in 2000 and aims to give equal access to vaccines for children living in the world's poorest countries. Under its Covax facility, the aim is equitable distribution of COVID vaccines, and also accelerate the development and manufacture of these vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has officially announced that it will be gifting more COVID vaccines to Oman (1 lakh), CARICOM countries (5 lakh), Nicaragua (2 lakh) and Pacific Island states (2 lakh).
MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "In line with the PM's announcement that India sees international cooperation in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as its duty, we have played the role of the first responder in our neighbourhood as well as undertaken supplies to countries beyond."
Friday marks 8th day since India gave a go-ahead to exports of COVID vaccines. It has so far gifted over 55 lakh doses of vaccines to nine countries in the neighbouring and in the extended neighbourhood. These are Bhutan (1.5 lakh), Maldives (1 lakh), Nepal (10 lakh), Bangladesh (20 lakh), Myanmar (15 lakh), Mauritius (1 lakh), Seychelles (50,000), Sri Lanka (5 lakhs) and Bahrain (1 lakh).
Commercial exports also have taken place to Brazil, Morocco and Bangladesh. Next in line to get commercial supplies of India made vaccines are Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada, Mongolia.
Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen who is India for foreign office consultations during his call on with India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar thanked the Indian side for handing over 2 million doses of vaccines. Nepal, Bangladesh began their vaccination program on Wednesday using India manufactured vaccines.