Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), has congratulated Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for restarting supplies of coronavirus vaccinations to the global platform COVAX in October.
Sharing a tweet, Ghebreyesus wrote, “Thank you Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya for announcing India will resume crucial Covid vaccine shipments to COVAX in October.”
The WHO director called it a “significant development,” and added that India’s contribution will assist all COVAX-supported nations meet the 40% immunisation target rate by the end of the year.
India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, said on Monday that shipments of Covid-19 vaccines to the global vaccination alliance Covax will begin in October. Mandaviya stated that only surplus supply would be eligible for export. “We will assist other nations while still fulfilling our responsibilities to COVAX,” he told reporters.
India halted selling the dosages in April when illnesses soared during the second wave of Covid-19, and the government was chastised by opposition parties for a poor rate of immunisation. Prior to the export prohibition, India has sold or donated 66 million doses to over 100 nations.
Donations, according to Mandaviya, may now be resumed because overall output has more than quadrupled since April and is projected to triple to more than 300 million doses next month. The overall vaccine output might also exceed 1 million in the remaining three months of the year, since additional vaccines from businesses such as Biological E could be approved shortly, according to the health minister.
The restart of vaccine donations by the Union government to the global coalition COVAX comes just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Washington, where US President Joe Biden will press for greater access to vaccinations in order to end the current epidemic by 2022.