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SII to Export 24 Million Vaccine Doses to 25 Counties

SII to Export 24 Million Vaccine Doses to 25 Counties

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NEW DELHI, Feb 10: The central government has given clearance to the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) to export 23.75 million Covid-19 vaccines to 25 countries on commercial basis in February, more than twice the 10.5 million doses exported in January. The countries in the SII”s list for vaccine export included Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Mauritius, Philippines, Serbia, the UAE and Qatar, official sources confirmed on Wednesday.

The government last month mandated that the external affairs ministry would oversee the export of the vaccine on a commercial basis to foreign countries and international organisations. The SII had earlier stated that it was putting a brake on the export for sale in the foreign private markets till India’s domestic requirements were fulfilled.

India has supplied 16.7 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the SII to 20 countries. This included nearly 6.3 million doses that were supplied free to 13 countries such as Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Oman, Barbados and Dominica. About 10 million more doses were supplied on a commercial basis to seven countries including Brazil, Morocco and South Africa.

According to the external affairs ministry’s plans for February, the SII has been cleared to supply 24 million doses on a commercial basis to 25 countries including This list of 25 countries does not include Canada that recently requested for 1 million doses of the vaccine, a government official said.

The list of vaccine exports by the SII, however, did not include Canada where the India origin minister for public services and procurement Anita Anand last week faced some embarrassing questions in the country’s Parliament for not approaching India for vaccine supply.

The Justin Trudeau government, which targets vaccination of all residents by September 2021, has been under pressure from the opposition over complaints of inoculation shortages as the winter wave of the Covid-19 pandemic continues in Canada. Infections caused by variants emerging from Brazil and South Africa have been reported in its largest city, Toronto. Canada has recorded 810,797 cases so far.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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