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    Published On : Fri, Jan 29th, 2021
    National News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

    UN chief lauds India’s vaccine assistance to nations

    India’s vaccine production capacity is one of the best assets the world has today, United Nations chief Antonio Guterres has said as he applauded India for supplying COVID-19 doses to nations around the world to combat the catastrophic global health crisis.

    The UN Secretary-General also expressed hope that India will have all instruments necessary to play a major role in ensuring a global vaccination campaign becomes possible as the world fights the pandemic.

    “I would like to say how much we count on India. I mean, India has one of the most advanced pharmaceutical industries. India played a very important role in the production of generics for use that was a very important element of democratisation of access to medicines all over the world,” Guterres said.

    He was responding to a question by PTI during a press briefing on Thursday on India helping countries around the world in the fight against the global pandemic by supplying COVID-19 vaccines.

    “And we strongly hope that India will have all the instruments that are necessary to play a major role in making sure that a global vaccination campaign becomes possible. I think that the production capacity of India is one of the best assets the world has today, and I hope the world understands that it must be fully used,” he said.

    Guterres added that he reiterated during his briefing to the UN Member States on his priorities for 2021 that licenses should be made available for companies around the world to be able to produce some of the vaccines that already exist.

    “I know that, in India, there is a production, a very high level of production, both of Indian-developed vaccines, and I think there is a perspective, very important perspective, of also others. And we are in contact with Indian institutions for that.”

    India has airlifted more than 6 million COVID-19 doses to nine countries in Phase-I under its initiative termed “Vaccine Maitri”.

    Contractual supplies to various countries are also being undertaken in a phased manner and New Delhi has said it will gradually supply to the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization.

    COVAX is the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level.

    This month, COVAX had announced that, pending WHO emergency use listings, nearly 150 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate are anticipated to be available in the first quarter of 2021, via existing agreements with the Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca.

    The Joe Biden administration has also applauded India for sending crucial supplies of the COVID19 vaccine to a host of South Asian nations, describing India as a true friend who is using its pharma to help the global community.

    “We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India’s free shipments of the vaccine began w/Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh & Nepal & will extend to others. India’s a true friend using its pharma to help the global community,” the US State Department’s account for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs had tweeted.

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