India’s Increased Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity May Prove ‘Game-Changer’, Says US

by Bhaswati Guha Majumder - Jun 4, 2021 11:27 AM
India’s Increased Covid-19 Vaccine Manufacturing Capacity May Prove ‘Game-Changer’, Says USUS State Department Spokesperson Ned Price (Screenshot photo)
Snapshot
  • Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US Department of State said that the increased manufacturing capacity in India has the potential to be a "game-changer" well beyond India’s borders.

The American Department of State on 3 June said that in India, the increase in manufacturing capacity of Covid-19 vaccines has the potential to be a “game-changer” well beyond the borders.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a press brief: “The increased manufacturing capacity in India, the volume of capacity has the potential to be a game-changer well beyond India’s borders”.

“And that’s precisely why this arrangement was reached and announced in the context of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad),” he added.

Earlier this year, it was determined to work together to boost India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity at the inaugural virtual Quad summit, which was attended by the leaders from Australia, Japan, United States and India.

As reported by the ANI, the American authorities are set to allocate the initial batch of 25 million Covid-19 vaccines, which will be distributed globally to address potential outbreaks and the needs of the pandemic’s most susceptible countries.

Almost 7 million vaccine doses will be supplied to Asian countries including Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

While responding to the query on the decision taken during the recent Quad, the Department of State spokesperson said: “It’s important to us because India has suffered immensely from the outbreak”.

“Virtually, no element of Indian society has been left untouched by this horrible scourge. That is why we have spoken of the focus on increased manufacturing in India,” Price added.

So far, the United States has provided India with $500 million in Covid-19 assistance.

According to Price, the Joe Biden administration, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken, has led an effort to enlist the help of the private sector.

He also stated that the United States has a combination of 20 million Covid-19 vaccines available in the country and 60 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

However, he did not explain a specific number of doses allocated to a particular country under the new initiative.

Price said that it is the “time of need” and added that vaccine distribution depends somewhat on the manufacturer.

“It is not as simple as putting a stamp on an envelope and sending it around the world,” he said.

He highlighted the fact of logistical challenges but ensured that “we are moving as quickly as we can in an effort to get these vaccines to their destination countries as soon as we can”.

Meanwhile, the Joe Biden administration said that the United States will lift the Defence Production Act rating on Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Novavax vaccines.

As reported, Biden also promised to ensure that India gets dosages, not just through the regional element of COVAX but also through the US discretionary portion.

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