NEW DELHI: Brazil sent an aircraft to India on Thursday to procure 2 million doses of Covid vaccine even as India said it was too early to respond to vaccine requests from other countries.
“As you know, the vaccination process is just starting in India. It is too early to give a specific response on the supplies to other countries as we are still assessing production schedules and availability to take decisions in this regard. This may take some time,” the MEA said in response to this development.
It is unclear whether Brazil will be supplied the Serum Institute of India manufactured vaccine under a government-to-government agreement, commercial agreement or under procedures of the vaccine alliance — GAVI.
According to Brazilian health minister Eduardo Pazuello, the plane was sent after Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s request to expedite the consignment of vaccines.
The move also comes days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the supply of vaccines to other countries would be cleared only after a few weeks and after domestic needs had been satisfied. Modi is scheduled to launch the vaccination drive on Saturday.
With more than 80 lakh cases, Brazil has the third-highest Covid infections in the world and over 2 lakh deaths. While there is a rush to buy vaccine from abroad, Bolsonaro has refused to be vaccinated.