03/17/2021, 17.54
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New Delhi sending anti-COVID vaccine to 71 countries, while at home . . .

About 58.4 million doses have been exported to 71 countries. India’s “vaccine diplomacy” is in open competition with China’s. In the meantime, the vaccination campaign at home is slowing just as the number of cases surges, reaching new highs since the beginning of the year.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) – India has so far exported 58.4 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 compared to 34.8 million doses administered at home since the start of the vaccination campaign.

Health Minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey provided the numbers  in a written answer to a parliamentary question, thus confirming that New Delhi is focusing on exporting vaccines to increase its geopolitical influence.

This comes despite the fact that India itself has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks. Yesterday alone, 28,903 new cases were reported with 188 new deaths, the highest this year.

About 71 countries have received Indian-made vaccines to tackle the pandemic. About 34 million doses were supplied through commercial agreements.

Some 16 million went to COVAX, a global initiative for the equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for countries with limited financial means. Another 8 million were provided to 37 countries free of charge.

Among India’s neighbours, Bangladesh is the main beneficiary, with a fifth of the entire supply through its Maitri (friendship) programme. Pakistan, on the other hand, received Indian vaccines via COVAX.

Other countries that have received Indian vaccines are Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and South Africa.

India is also providing anti-COVID vaccines to half of the 48 nations classified by the UN as less developed (LDC) and to a third of the small island developing (SID) nations, two groups of countries whose vote at the United Nations is highly sought after.

New Delhi’s “vaccine diplomacy” is in open competition with Beijing’s. The recent Quad Summit also confirmed that India is at the forefront of efforts to supply one billion doses to Southeast Asian and Pacific countries by the end of 2022, precisely as an alternative to Chinese “donations”.

However, Indian authorities must also deal with criticism for its slow-moving domestic vaccination campaign. At present about three million doses are administered per day, a number that is a drop in the bucket given the size of India’s population.

Meanwhile, the number of cases has begun to rise, particularly in the state of Maharashtra, which yesterday alone reported 87 new deaths from COVID-19.

“We will have to immediately stop the emerging second wave of Corona,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The prime minister also complained that too many vaccines are being wasted. According to data provided by the government, about 6.5 of all doses are lost during their administration.

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See also
China tops COVID-19 vaccine exports
09/04/2021 15:16
New COVID-19 surge in Mumbai
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COVID-19 now affects 90 per cent of India’s districts, countryside included
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Pyongyang declines 3 million doses of Chinese vaccine
02/09/2021 10:04
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22/04/2021 17:07


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