Time for India to reinvigorate vaccine diplomacy in South Asia: Samridhi Bimal

(Samridhi Bimal is an Independent Consultant. This article first appeared in The Wire on July 15, 2021)

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted high costs on the health and socio-economic well-being of people globally. International organisations such as World Health Organisation and World Trade Organisation have unanimously emphasized the importance of international cooperation in ensuring the smooth flow of vaccines and other vital medical supplies across countries. Like many other countries committed to global vaccine cooperation, India was among the forerunners in its ‘vaccine diplomacy’. Being the world’s third-largest producer of pharmaceuticals, India has supported the global community on several fronts, most notably by launching the “Vaccine Maitri” initiative in January 2021. As per data released by the Ministry of External Affairs, around 6.64 crore doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been exported to 95 countries, of which 3.58 crore doses were supplied to 26 countries under commercial contracts, 1.07 crore to 47 countries as grants and 1.98 crore to 47 countries under the COVAX facility…

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