NEW DELHI: The government has extended an invitation to foreign missions in India to join the vaccination drive. The MEA has offered the missions to join the drive and urged them to send their reply by January 29.
“India’s R&D facilities, manufacturing capacity, foreign collaborations, etc. in the fields of pharmaceuticals, including vaccine production, were highlighted....India is committed to partnering with all interested countries in vaccine-related efforts, in the service of humanity,” an MEA statement said.
The vaccine drive in the country began on January 16 and so far, over 19 lakh people have been vaccinated.
In December, a group of 50 foreign envoys were taken to the vaccine development facility in Hyderabad to showcase the development programme at Bharat Biotech and Biological.
India has also been briefing foreign envoys all through on its action plans to deal with the pandemic.
In November, Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla held a meeting with the envoys and gave a detailed presentation on India’s response to the crisis. Around 190 heads of diplomatic missions were present in the briefing.
India has also been at the forefront of vaccine diplomacy with most neighbouring countries — Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Seychelles, and Mauritius — getting doses as grants.
Only Pakistan has not received any vaccines from India as there was no request from the country.
Last week commercial supply of vaccines was also approved by the government with Brazil and Morocco getting the doses commercially. Vaccine to Sri Lanka will be sent later this week.
Bangladesh gets Covishield
Bangladesh on Monday received its first consignment of 5 million doses of the vaccine through a procurement agreement. A special Air India flight carrying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine reached Dhaka