India will receive a share of the 80 million (8 crore) of unused Covid-19 vaccine under the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing program that President Joe Biden has announced, according to a senior official in the United Nations Department. ‘State.
On June 2, President Biden announced that the United States would allocate 75% – nearly 1.9 crore of the first 2.5 crore of doses – of unused Covid-19 vaccines from its stockpile through the global program to UN-supported COVAX vaccine sharing to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa.
The move is part of his administration’s framework for sharing 80 million (8 crore) of vaccines around the world by the end of June.
According to a White House fact sheet, nearly 19 million vaccines will be shared through COVAX.
“I don’t have specific details on when the vaccine shipment will arrive in India. Of course India will receive a share of those 80 million vaccines and thanks to COVAX I think there were some six million vaccines destined for the region, ”the State Department spokesman said on Wednesday. , Ned Price, at a press conference.
Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated COVAX, is a global initiative for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization.
“We know that India has suffered enormously from this pandemic and as we have done in the case of these vaccines, but also as we have done even before this vaccine sharing announcement. We have demonstrated our commitment to work closely with our partners in India to help find a way out of this epidemic, ”he said.
In recent weeks, the United States has so far provided seven planes filled with vital supplies worth around $ 100 million.
“This is also in addition to the immense generosity we have seen from the private sector and the diaspora here in this country who have donated some additional $ 400 million. So it is half a billion dollars that the United States government and the people here in the United States are committed to help our friends and to help our partners in India recover from this pandemic, ”said Price. .
Responding to a question, he said the Biden administration was absolutely following through on its commitment to helping the government and the Indian people come out of this pandemic.
“We remain engaged with the private sector as we talked about our commitment to vaccines in India, our commitment to planes full of vital supplies, doing all we can not only on our part, but also to galvanize the action of others. non-state actors here in the US to help our friends in India, ”Price said.
India is currently experiencing the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, the country has recorded more than 2.90.89.069 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 3.53.528 deaths.
The Biden administration had come under pressure to send the excess Covid-19 vaccines with the United States to countries like India, which are facing severe vaccine shortages.