India likely to get major chunk of U.S. vaccine exports

60 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine are to be shared globally

Updated - April 28, 2021 04:00 am IST

Published - April 27, 2021 10:36 pm IST

Vital supply:  The White House said 10 million doses could be cleared for export “in coming weeks” and the rest by June.

Vital supply: The White House said 10 million doses could be cleared for export “in coming weeks” and the rest by June.

India expects to secure the biggest chunk of the 60 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that the United States will share globally, two Indian government sources told Reuters, as New Delhi battles a devastating surge in infections.

On Monday, the White House said 10 million doses could be cleared for export “in coming weeks” and the rest by June. It has not revealed potential beneficiaries, but the sources said India could gain the most.


“The wheels of diplomacy and appeals from WHO and top public health experts changed their thinking and now we have the U.S. ready to send vaccines,” said one of the sources, an aide to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Biden administration had agreed to ship doses to India after initial reluctance, he added. “We are not sure how many we will receive. All I can say here is, our bowl is the largest and deepest.”

Speaking to Reuters after a telephone conversation between Mr. Modi and President Joe Biden on vaccine raw materials, the second official said India was lobbying hard to get more than 35% of the AstraZeneca doses.


“Our Prime Minister has been assured that India will be given priority; the ratio of Indian share is being worked out,” said the official, who is involved in the negotiations with the U.S. authorities.

“We are also assuring them that once COVID cases decline, we will manufacture and distribute vaccines to other nations,” the source added, in line with a pact among the Quad group of nations comprising the U.S., India, Japan and Australia.

Both officials declined to be named ahead of a formal announcement of beneficiaries by the United States. The Prime Minister’s Office and India’s Ministry of External Affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


The first source also said the government would help Indian States import vaccines.

“We are facilitating,” he added. “Some States have the money and they are willing to pay for it, whether it’s for local or imported vaccines.”

On Monday, citing two unidentified government officials, Reuters reported the Central government had decided to leave such purchases of foreign vaccines to State authorities and companies.

India, with the world’s largest vaccine-making capacity, had donated or exported more than 66 million doses before its own needs jumped because of the surge in infections. Over the last six days, it has racked up more than 300,000 cases a day, pushing the public health system close to collapse in major cities such as New Delhi.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.