India Denies Reports Claiming It Banned Exports of COVID-19 Vaccines to UK, Other Countries
By Staff, Agencies
India has categorically rejected the reports published by western media outlets claiming New Delhi has imposed a ban on coronavirus vaccine exports as it is facing the second wave of the pandemic. New Delhi will continue to supply vaccines in a phased manner, a government source said, according to Sputnik.
"We had stated that keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. This position remains unchanged. We have not imposed any ban on exports of vaccines unlike many other countries", the source added.
The government official maintained that the Indian government remains committed to helping the world with vaccines.
"Given our current manufacturing capacity and requirements of national vaccination program, there may be a need to calibrate the supply schedules from time to time. All stakeholders will have to work together to adjust the schedules as required. Only by such cooperation, we can collectively deal with the ongoing pandemic", the official underlined.
India kicked off its domestic COVID-19 vaccination program on 16 January and so far it has supplied 75 million doses of vaccines to the population. Health Ministry data suggests that states had used over 53 million doses as of Thursday morning. The Indian government has ordered 120 million more doses and supplies will start trickling into in the states starting Saturday.
So far, more than 60 million doses of Made in India vaccines have also been supplied to over 75 countries, including through the global initiative, COVAX.
"No other country has supplied the world with as many doses as India has so far", the Indian government source claimed.
COVAX has so far received 17.7 million AstraZeneca doses from the Serum Institute of India. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that vaccine supplies from the Serum Institute of India were being delayed but maintained that British authorities remain in touch with the Indian government on the issue. Shipments of the AstraZeneca jab have also been delayed to Brazil, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.