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India’s Vaccine Production Capacity Is Best Asset World Has Today, Says United Nations Chief

Appreciating India for playing a major role in the global vaccination campaign, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday termed the vaccine production capacity of India as the “best asset” that the world has today.

Addressing reporters, the UN chief said, “I know that in India there is a very high level of production of Indian developed vaccines. We are in contact with Indian institutions for that. 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 is campaign is made possible.”

“I think that the production capacity of India is the best asset that the world has today. I hope the world understands that it must be fully used,” he added.

On the need to democratize access to medicines, Guterres said, “I would say a very important element on the democratization of access to medicines all over the world. I appealed once again today for the licenses to be made available for companies around the world to be able to produce some of the vaccines that already exist.”

UN chief’s statement comes as India has gifted over 55 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccine to neighboring countries.

Addressing a weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry (EAM) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said India plans to gift vaccine doses to Oman, CARICOM countries, Nicaragua, Pacific Island states. Srivastava said New Delhi plans to supply 1 crore or 10 million vaccine doses to Africa and 10 lakh to United Nations health workers under GAVI’s (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) COVAX facility.

India, Srivastava said, plans to commercially export coronavirus vaccine to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada, Mongolia, and other countries.

“On a commercial level, the export has taken place for Brazil Morocco, and Bangladesh. Further supplies to countries on commercial bases are likely to take place in Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Canada Mongolia, and other countries. We plan to supply 1 crore or 10 million vaccine doses to Africa and 10 lakh to United Nations health workers under GAVI,” he said.