India will be able to decide on exports of coronavirus vaccines within the next few weeks, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday, as governments abroad seek to shore up supplies.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
India, one of the world’s biggest producers of vaccines and generic drugs, is expected to be a key manufacturing center for COVID-19 vaccines.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
Jaishankar told the Reuters Next conference that India understood the anxieties of foreign governments about getting the vaccines delivered to their populations.
“We will get clarity pretty soon on what our own consumption is going got be, (what) deployments are going to be. And we will keep our global role very much,” he said.
Coronavirus: India prepares for ‘world’s biggest vaccination drive'
India’s ‘abrupt’ approval of local coronavirus vaccine faces widespread criticism
Coronavirus: India says it hasn’t banned the export of COVID-19 vaccines
Last week, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wrote a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking to expedite a shipment of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is being made by Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest producer of vaccines.
Bangladesh this week said it expected to receive initial shipments of the vaccine from SII by January 25.
India has to balance the needs of its own population, which is set to receive the first shots this weekend, with that of foreign countries, Jaishankar said, speaking from Delhi at the virtual conference.
“The policy of course is we will start the rollout in India. We have our own challenges,” Jaishankar said.
“A number of countries are in touch with us... and what we are telling them is, look, this is the first month,” he added.
“The production is now coming into stream. There is a certain amount of stock taking going on.”
Along with AstraZeneca’s locally branded COVISHIELD, India’s drug regulator also cleared an indigenous vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, jointly developed with a government institute.
Four more vaccines are in clinical trials, Jaishankar said.
Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D and Russia’s Sputnik V are among those being tested.
Jaishankar said India had done well to control the pandemic, beating grim forecasts about the virus’ tearing through the world’s second-most-populous country.
“We surprised ourselves, probably the world as well. And if you recall the kind of apocalyptic scenarios around the summer of 2020, at the end of the year, it is very visible who came through better, and who came through less,” he said.
India, which has the world’s second highest number of coronavirus infections -- nearly 10.5 million -- after the United States, has among the lowest coronavirus fatality rates.
Coronavirus: India prepares for ‘world’s biggest vaccination drive'Indian airlines started delivering batches of COVID-19 vaccines across the country on Tuesday, getting ready for the launch of a campaign to offer ... Coronavirus
India’s ‘abrupt’ approval of local coronavirus vaccine faces widespread criticismCriticism of India’s approval of a local COVID-19 vaccine without proof of its efficacy grew on Wednesday after news that a regulatory panel approved ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: India says it hasn’t banned the export of COVID-19 vaccinesIndia’s government had not banned the export of any vaccines for COVID-19, the health ministry said Tuesday, days after the head of the world’s ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Indian vaccine makers end disagreement, guarantee ‘smooth rollout’Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech said on Tuesday they would end a public spat and focus on rolling out COVID-19 shots after ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: India’s Bharat Biotech aims to make 700 mln doses of vaccine in 2021India’s Bharat Biotech is aiming to have a production capacity of about 700 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year, according to a top ... Coronavirus
Air corridor deal between Dubai and India to boost vaccine distributionDubai Airports and the operator of Hyderabad airport, GMR Hyderabad, have agreed a logistics deal for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to handle up to ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: India’s approval of homegrown vaccine criticized over lack of dataIndia on Sunday granted emergency approval to Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN but faced questions from industry experts and opposition lawmakers after taking ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: India approves AstraZeneca, local COVID-19 vaccines for emergency useIndia has authorized the emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and by local pharmaceutical firm ... Coronavirus
Timeline: India's coronavirus vaccine approved by drugs expertsIndia's drugs regulator on Saturday recommended for emergency use a locally developed coronavirus vaccine called COVAXIN, which is expected to be a ... Coronavirus