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Covid-19: US to open supply chains to increase vaccine production in India | India News


NEW DELHI: India and the US have agreed to work together to open vaccine supply chains and access to components to enable Indian manufacturers to produce Covid vaccines for India and the world.
When Foreign Minister S Jaishankar concluded the first high-level meetings of the Modi government with the Biden administration, the two sides improved convergence on four major issues: Covid, Indo-Pacific, Afghanistan and trade. The increased cooperation on Quad was evident with Jaishankar tweeting “covered Indo-Pacific and Quad, Afghanistan, Myanmar, UNSC affairs and other international organizations” after his meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Jaishankar had substantive discussions with nearly the entire Biden national security team: NSA Jake Sullivan, Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, and USTR Katherine Tai in addition to the foreign relations committee.
The most important discussions were about Covid and its management. In his public comments, Jaishankar thanked the United States for the help during the latest surge in India. Dean Thompson, Acting Undersecretary of State, told reporters: “Expanding the production of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines is a top priority for both the United States and India. Together with our Quad partners Japan and Australia, we continue to identify cooperation options in the areas of vaccine manufacturing capacity in India, as well as the administration and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines in the Indo-Pacific region. ”
The sources said the United States is working on ways to open up vaccine supply chains so that Indian manufacturers can increase production capacity. This would help not only inoculate the Indians, but also reopen India’s vaccine exports, on which a large number of countries depend.
Answering questions about the AstraZeneca doses that could be shipped to other countries, Thompson said there are still several weeks to go. “More than 60 million doses of AstraZeneca are still under FDA scrutiny and will be available once they are completed.”
The United States is working with Indian vaccine company Biological E to produce 1 billion doses of J&J vaccines by 2022, US officials said.
The United States and India deepened their strategic relationship in the Indo-Pacific, specifically in the Quad, which is the core of the new global geopolitics. Jaishankar tweeted after meeting with Blinken: “A productive discussion on various aspects of our bilateral cooperation, as well as regional and global issues. It covered the Indo-Pacific and the Quad, Afghanistan, Myanmar, UNSC affairs and other international organizations. ”
The Quad is now a priority for the Biden administration. Although they inherited it from Trump, officials say they now “own” it and want to develop it much further. India, being the geostrategic center of the Quad, will play a more important role in this new formation. The discussion between the two parties focused on taking Quad beyond a security cluster to encompass other areas of non-traditional security.
Both sides focused much of their discussions on Afghanistan, although Myanmar also participated in some deliberations. In the latter, the two parties pressed for the resumption of democratic processes and the cessation of violence. But in Afghanistan, they worked in cooperation after the US withdrawal. As one senior official explained, “The United States is not about to leave Afghanistan.”
The official US reading of the Jaishankar-Blinken meeting said it included “assistance from Covid-19, efforts to strengthen Indo-Pacific cooperation through the Quad, and a shared commitment to combat the climate crisis and enhance cooperation. multilateral, including in the Security Council of the UN “. Secretary Blinken and Minister Jaishankar also discussed regional developments, the coup in Burma and continued support for Afghanistan. ”

Times of India