India to resume export of Covid vaccines next month

India to resume export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines next month: Mandaviya

The minister said the government will receive over 30 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines in October and over 100 crore doses in the next three months

Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

India is set to resume the export and donation of Covid-19 vaccines five months after the country stopped such transnational shipments as the demand for vaccine had skyrocketed following the ferocious second surge.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday that the government would take the Vaccine Maitri (exporting the Covid-19 vaccine to friendly countries) programme forward and fulfill India’s Covax responsibility from the fourth quarter of 2021 as vaccine production is on a rise.

The Centre received 26 crore doses in September from Indian manufacturers and more than 30 crore doses are expected in October. Health Ministry sources said that nearly 100 crore doses are likely to come between October and December.

Read: Covid-19 variants evolving, becoming airborne, study shows

“Vaccine production is increasing. Vaccination pace is speeding up. In October, we expect over 30 crore doses. Beyond that, the production is expected to grow as Biological Evans and other companies will also start delivering the doses,” he said.

Between January and April, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, India exported more than 6.6 crore doses to 95 countries. The last consignment was sent to Albania on April 16.

The exports were carried out following three routes – (1) grants (2) commercial deals and (3) donation under Covax – a UN supported international vaccine supply arrangement. Covax is co-led by Gavi, an international alliance on vaccine promotion; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organization.

India has so far administered nearly 82 crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccines of which 61 crore doses have been administered as the first dose, while 21 crore adults are fully vaccinated. The target is to vaccinate 94.47 crore Indians by December.

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