INDIA SAYS IT WILL RESUME EXPORTS OF COVID-19 VACCINE IN 2021

India’s Health Minister said Monday that the country would resume exports of a COVID-19 vaccine five months after disrupting supplies during a devastating wave of infections.

Covid19 in india

Health Minister Mansuh Mandavia said exports would resume next month and the vaccine would help meet India’s commitment to Covax, the UN-backed vaccine swap initiative.

He said India would produce more than 300 million doses of the vaccine by October and at least one billion in total in the last three months of 2021.

“We will help the world and also fulfill our obligations to Kovax,” said Mandaviya.

The minister did not specify what vaccine or how many doses India would give Kovax. Before exports were halted in April, the country exported 66.4 million cans, a combination of commercial sales, grants and supplies, to Covax, which is primarily intended to serve low- and middle-income countries.

India’s decision comes at a time when the home vaccination campaign is intensifying after a slow start. The government hopes to have vaccinated 944 million adults in the country by December.

So far, according to government figures, 61 percent of adults in India have received their first dose. The two main vaccines used are Covishield, the local name for the AstraZeneca vaccine made in India by the Indian Serum Institute, and Covaxin, made by Indian company Bharat Biotech.

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