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India plans to supply 20 million doses of vaccines to its neighbors | India News

NEW DELHI: India, one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, plans to offer 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to its neighbors while drawing up a policy to supply vials to countries around the world, people with knowledge of the matter said.
An Indian state company will buy vaccines from the Serum Institute of India Ltd and Bharat Biotech International Ltd to supply Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Seychelles and Mauritius, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the plan is still under discussion. . Some of the supplies may be free and treated as an aid, they added.
The first batch of vials will ship over the next two weeks, the people said. The government will then offer the vaccines to countries in Latin America, Africa and the former Soviet republics. A spokesperson for Bharat Biotech could not immediately comment, while a spokesperson for Serum declined to comment.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to build on India’s leadership in vaccine manufacturing by helping countries battling the pandemic and raising the profile of the South Asian nation to compete with China, which is also supplying its local vaccines in all the world. Brazil, with more than 8 million cases, has sought urgent supplies and so has South Africa.
“It is too early to give a specific answer on supplies to other countries as we are still evaluating production schedules and delivery,” said Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava at a weekly briefing. Thursday.
Overseas supplies
HLL Lifecare Ltd, a state-owned healthcare manufacturing company, which is acquiring the Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech vaccine vials for the government’s vaccination program from January 16, can receive supplies abroad. The company supplied hydroxychloroquine tablets to more than 120 countries last year.
Brazil will send a plane to India after Modi agreed to speed up vaccine shipments, according to the nation’s Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello. The serum will supply 2 million vaccines to the South American nation.
Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla in an interview this month said he expected overseas supplies to only start around March, adding that the government will allow overseas sales after meeting initial India requirements.
The Serum Institute is manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, while that of Bharat Biotech is indigenous.

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