Vaccine Diplomacy: India Begins Supply to Neighbouring Countries

The first consignment of 1.5 lakh dosages of the Covishield vaccine has been dispatched to Thimphu in Bhutan.

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First batch of vaccines dispatched to Bhutan. 

The first consignment of 1.5 lakh dosages of Covishield vaccine has been dispatched from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport to Thimphu in Bhutan on Wednesday, 20 January.

This is part of India’s decision to supply made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines to its neighbouring and key partner countries.


Later on Wednesday, India dispatched the first consignment of 1 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines to Male in the Maldives. Nepal Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi asked India to provide one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal, which will in arrive in Kathmandu on 21 January.

Soon after, vaccines will be sent to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius. Pakistan doesn’t feature in the list of countries that will receive the vaccine from India.

'Deeply Honoured’: PM Modi

Talking about the government’s decision, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “India is deeply honoured to be a long-trusted partner in meeting the healthcare needs of the global community. Supplies of COVID vaccines to several countries will commence tomorrow, and more will follow in the days ahead.”


External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his tweet, said: “India fulfils the commitment to give vaccines to humanity. Supplies to our neighbours will start on 20th January. The Pharmacy of the World will deliver to overcome the COVID challenge.”

Domestic Demand Will be Kept in Mind: MEA

The Ministry of External Affairs said the supply will be made ensuring there are adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements, and added, “India will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner.”

The MEA said prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, is being conducted for immunisation managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.


(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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