India reigning vaccine diplomacy?
India in just 55 days has sent as many as 586 lakh doses to 71 countries paving the path for its vaccine diplomacy at the ongoing Quad Summit. The world is wrapped in the unpredictable times of the Covid-19, the global leaders are paving the way for the world and determining the future course of action. The Quad summit recognised the efforts of India in the fight against the coronavirus and its friendly gestures to many nations around the globe. This effort found its mentions in the White House, where US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned the Quad vaccine initiative. He said, “the Indian manufacturing paired with US technology, Japanese and American funding as well as Australian logistics capabilities, the Quad can easily deliver up to 1 million doses to ASEAN, the Indo-Pacific and others by the end of 2022.”
According to a report by the Indian Express, Leading the Quad Vaccine Initiative, around 80.75 lakh doses have been sent as gift, free of charge, 165.24 lakh doses have been delivered as part of the Covax mechanism under the aegis of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. As a part of the commercial deals, an estimated of 339.67 lakh doses have been sent out. Under New Delhi’s Vaccine Maitri, 90 lakh doses, has been sent to Bangladesh, the top recipient among the neighbors. Pakistan will get vaccines made in India through Covax.
The report further mentions that the initiative incorporates the global South which includes Argentina, Brazil, Egypt and South Africa. Of the 71 countries, at least 37 have got the vaccines free, 17 through Covax, many a combination of these two and commercial sales.
In effect, India has supplied vaccines to at least 50 per cent of the Least Developed (LDC) countries and one-third of the Small Island Developing (SID) countries. The aforementioned are the two major small-country groupings that have a prominent decision in the United Nation. While numerous countries in the Indian Ocean region have been sent vaccines, Pacific Island nations and those in south-east Asia are next.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said, “The Quad vaccine initiative is a “validation of our reputation as a reliable manufacturer of high-quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products.” Shringla emphasised that the global supplies “will not in any manner affect our domestic vaccine production”
In trying times like this, the world needs to cooperate and build a community to work together to ensure vaccines to not just the developed countries but also the poor nations who are dependent on the leading global powers for the supply.