THREE MONTHS after it put on hold Covid vaccine exports to combat a ferocious second wave, India said Monday that it will resume its flagship Vaccine Maitri initiative in the fourth quarter starting October to reduce supply inequity in poorer nations.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said India’s vaccine manufacturers are expected to produce more than 30 crore doses in October for the domestic drive — and that surplus supply will be used to fulfill the country’s commitment towards the global fight against Covid.
Mandaviya said the Government is receiving 26 crore doses from domestic manufacturers this month. “The rate of vaccination is also constantly increasing. On four days, we have administered more than one crore doses each. Today also, there is a possibility that we might cross the one-crore mark.
In October, we have a possibility of receiving more than 30 crore doses,” he said.
“Looking ahead, we expect more doses as production increases. Biological E and other companies will also arrive with their vaccines in the market. Keeping this in view, in the next quarter, after fulfilling our domestic requirements and by further increasing vaccine production, we will take forward Vaccine Maitri,” Mandaviya said.
India, the world’s leading vaccine manufacturer, had started external supplies under Vaccine Maitri on January 20 in the form of grant-in-aid and commercial sales, and through COVAX, the multilateral initiative aimed at global access to Covid vaccines led by Gavi, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO.
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