UN Chief lauds India's COVID-19 vaccine efforts
India has airlifted more than 6 million COVID-19 doses to nine countries in Phase-I under its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative
India's vaccine production capacity is one of the best assets the world has today, United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has said as he applauded India for supplying COVID-19 vaccines to nations around the world to combat the catastrophic global health crisis.
The UN Secretary-General also noted that India can play a major role in ensuring a global vaccination campaign becomes possible as the world fights the pandemic.
“I would like to say how much we count on India. I mean, India has one of the most advanced pharmaceutical industries. India played a very important role in the production of generics for use that was a very important element of democratization of access to medicines all over the world,” Guterres said in response to a question by an Indian news agency.
“And we strongly hope that India will have all the instruments that are necessary to play a major role in making sure that a global vaccination campaign becomes possible. I think that the production capacity of India is one of the best assets the world has today, and I hope the world understands that it must be fully used,” he added.
India has airlifted more than 6 million COVID-19 doses to nine countries in Phase-I under its initiative termed 'Vaccine Maitri'. Contractual supplies to various countries are also being undertaken in a phased manner and New Delhi has said it will gradually supply to the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization.
COVAX is the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level.
India embarked on a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country. The country plans to vaccinate about 300 million citizens in the first six months.
New Delhi has assisted more than 150 countries through urgent health and medical supplies. It has pledged 15 million dollars for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and operationalized the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for its neighbors with an initial contribution of 10 million dollars.