Will India send vaccines to Pak if there is a request? MEA responds
- Pakistan has not yet placed orders for commercial supplies of vaccines and authorities have been racing to procure doses to begin inoculating the most vulnerable segments of the population. China on Thursday offered 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan.
India said on Friday it had not received any request from Pakistan for supply of Covid-19 vaccines even as it began commercial exports of doses by sending two million doses each to Brazil and Morocco.
Pakistan has not yet placed orders for commercial supplies of vaccines and authorities have been racing to procure doses to begin inoculating the most vulnerable segments of the population. China on Thursday offered 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan.
“I am not aware of any request for the supply of Indian-made vaccines on a [government-to-government] basis or commercial basis,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a weekly news briefing.
He declined to answer a question on how India would respond if Pakistan were to request vaccines from the country, saying it was “hypothetical at this stage”.
Early on Friday, two aircraft took off with two million doses each for Brazil and Morocco – the first commercial supplies of Covishield, the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.
Contractual supplies to Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Bangladesh and Myanmar will follow in the coming days. Bangladesh signed an agreement with the Serum Institute last year for 30 million doses.
Brazil had planned to send an aircraft to India on January 15, a day before the country launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive, to pick up two million doses of Covishield. It had to put off the move after the Indian side said exports would take some more time.
Srivastava said many countries have shown interest in accessing vaccines from India, the global hub of vaccine production. He also reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment that India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used for the benefit of all humanity to fight Covid-19.
“Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout [of the vaccination drive], India will continue to supply Covid-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner,” he said.
“It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.”
On Wednesday, India had also begun providing vaccines to friendly neighbours as grant assistance. The “Vaccine Maitri” initiative has so far benefited Bhutan (150,000 doses), the Maldives (100,000 doses), Bangladesh (two million doses), Nepal (one million doses), Myanmar (1.5 million doses), Mauritius (100,000 doses), and Seychelles (50,000 doses).
Srivastava also two made-in-India vaccines were in production, four were in active clinical trials, and 15 more were in pre-clinical trials.