India has not imposed any export ban on COVID-19 vaccines: MEA

Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated that external supplies would be done keeping in mind India’s domestic requirements

April 02, 2021 06:48 pm | Updated 06:48 pm IST - New Delhi

Boxes of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and provided through the global COVAX initiative arrive at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia. File

Boxes of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and provided through the global COVAX initiative arrive at the airport in Mogadishu, Somalia. File

Asserting that India has not imposed any export ban on anti-coronavirus vaccines, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday said the country has taken the lead in sending vaccines abroad with over 640 lakh doses supplied to more than 80 countries till now.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi also said the ministry's 'Vaccine Maitree' initiative to supply vaccines abroad has been "very successful and very well liked" by our partners across the world.

"As on date, under the 'Vaccine Maitree' initiative, we have supplied a total of about 644 lakh doses to the global community and of these, 104 lakh doses have been supplied as a grant, 357 lakh doses on a commercial basis and 182 lakh doses through the COVAX initiative," Mr Bagchi said at an online media briefing.

With regard to the demand for made-in-India vaccines, many countries across the world have been requesting for their supply, he said.

"I don't have an exact number for what is the demand (for the vaccines) because it is a request based on the requirement of countries," Mr Bagchi said.

The 'Vaccine Maitree' initiative has been extremely successful and very well liked by our partners across the world and "we are continuing to try to supply to the extent possible given our domestic requirements", Mr Bagchi said.

Asked about reports that Nepal has approached India to procure 5 million more vaccine doses but has not got any response, he said India has taken the lead on sending vaccines abroad.

"No country has shared with the world the number of vaccines that India has while vaccinating its own population. Till now, we have supplied vaccines to more than 80 countries across in the world and we have already stated that our external supplies would be done keeping in mind our domestic requirements," the MEA spokesperson said.

"At this time, I hope our partners understand that vaccines are primarily purposed for domestic consumption. I want to emphasise that we have not imposed any export ban on vaccines," Mr Bagchi asserted.

Regarding the concerns of other countries, India's position has been suitably conveyed through its official channels, he added.

India is one of the world's biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring anti-coronavirus vaccines.

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