Covid-19: India has supplied about 60 mn vaccine doses to other countries
India has supplied close to 60 million coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine doses to other countries so far, to support their Covid-19 immunisation programme.
The immunisation programme against Covid-19 started in India, and in other countries, in a phased manner to cover the health care providers, front line workers and the most vulnerable individuals above a certain age.
Since India is manufacturing a couple of Covid-19 vaccines locally, the ministry of external affairs has received requests from various foreign countries for their supply.
“Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased roll-out, India will continue to supply Covid-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” informed Ashwini Kumar Choubey, minister of state (health and family welfare), in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
The vaccines have been supplied to close to 70 countries, and several others have shown interest in getting vaccines made in India to inoculate their vulnerable population.
India currently has two vaccines against Covid-19 approved for restricted emergency use: Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, which the company has co-developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research, and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that Serum Institute of India is locally manufacturing as Covishield.
Covaxin is a two-dose whole virion inactivated vaccine that is to be given 28 days apart as per the current recommendations. The company announced its interim phase 3 results recently that showed 81% overall efficacy, and it was also effective against mutant Sars-Cov-2 strains.
Covishield, scientifically known as ChAdOx1-S, is a recombinant vaccine, with a proven efficacy of about 70%.
India has administered close to 35 million Covid-19 vaccine doses since it started the national immunisation drive on January 16, 2021.