• Friday, Feb 26, 2021
  • Last Update : 03:22 pm

Modi says India self-reliant on Covid-19 vaccines as 1 million inoculated

  • Published at 05:00 pm January 22nd, 2021
India vaccination Modi
A mural of a bearded Modi in Mumbai REUTERS

India is starting commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil and Morocco

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday India was completely self-reliant on coronavirus vaccine supplies as the world’s second-most populous country inoculated more than one million people within a week of starting a massive campaign.

On Saturday, India began what the government calls the world’s biggest vaccination program, using two shots made locally: one licensed from Oxford University and AstraZeneca Plc, and another developed at home by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.

“Our preparation has been such that vaccine is fast reaching every corner of the country,” Modi said while interacting with healthcare workers from his Varanasi constituency through video conferencing.

“And on the world’s biggest need today, we are completely self-reliant. Not just that, India is also helping out many countries with vaccines.”

India, known as the pharmaceutical capital of the world, has gifted vaccines to neighbours and partners such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Seychelles, Mauritius and the Maldives. It is starting commercial shipments to Brazil and Morocco on Friday.


Also Read - India to begin commercial vaccine exports with shipments to Brazil, Morocco


The South Asian country’s own vaccination drive kicked off with 30 million healthcare and other front-line workers first in the queue, followed by about 270 million people older than 50 or deemed at high-risk because of pre-existing medical conditions.

That puts 70-year-old Modi in the second category. He reiterated the sequence would be followed but no made reference to when exactly he would take the inoculation.

India, a country of 1.35 billion people, has so far reported 10.63 million Covid-19 cases - the highest after the United States - with 153,032 deaths.

The health ministry says India inoculated more people on its first day than the United States, Britain or France. Still, it has been urging more frontline people to come forward to take the shots as only a handful of states have been able to meet their daily targets.

It said in a statement that 1.04 million people had received their first vaccine doses as of early Friday.

Some doctors have expressed doubt about the Bharat Biotech vaccine, which was given approval for emergency use without efficacy data from late-stage clinical trials. The government says it is safe and effective.


Also Read - India's vaccine diplomacy in South Asia pushes back against China


Bharat Biotech said on Friday that 13,000 people participating in the late-stage trial of its Covaxin had been given the second dose, which could help it soon get some idea about its efficacy. It began the late trial in November, completing registration of a total 25,800 participants by early January.

In the coming months, India is expected to approve two more vaccines, Russia’s Sputnik V and Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCov-D. India’s focus on locally-made shots could force companies such as Pfizer Inc to also look at producing in the country.

The US company was first to seek emergency use authorisation in India early last month, with plans to import the shots, but a top government vaccine official has told Reuters it will need to do a local trial first. The government has also requested the company to consider local production like the Russians have done.

55
Facebook 52
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail