India to restart exporting anti-Covid vaccine from October
New Delhi, Sep 20 (EFE).- India announced on Monday that it would resume exporting anti-Covid vaccines from October, nearly six months after suspending the international supply due to the rapid increase in infections within the country during the second wave of the pandemic.
Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said in a press conference that as “vaccine production is increasing and (India’s) vaccination program is moving forward rapidly,” the country would resume exports to other countries in October.
“We will help the world and also meet our commitments under the Covax program,” he added.
The suspension of Indian exports had affected this program, launched by the World Health Organization for equitable distribution of vaccine doses across the world.
Earlier this month, the WHO had urged India to resume exports, while experts of the body acknowledged that Covax would not be able to supply 2 billion vaccine doses this year as planned, with only 1.4 billion doses expected to be available.
The worldwide shortage of vaccines has especially affected other South Asian countries as well as Africa, along with other developing nations.
India is one of the largest manufacturer of anti-Covid vaccines, with AstraZeneca’s Covishield and local vaccine Covaxin being produced in the country.
Exports of the two serums were suspended once the devastating second coronavirus wave started wreaking havoc in the country, leading to a collapse of the hospital system and crematoriums running out of spaces, along with a severe shortage of medical oxygen.
India registered over 400,000 Covid cases during the pandemic’s peak, although the second wave subsided in June and according to health ministry data, just around 30,000 new cases were recorded on Friday.
With an adult population of over 950 million, the South Asian nation has administered more than 800 million vaccine doses since its immunization campaign kicked off in January.