PLUTUS IAS REGISTERED BY ARGASIA EDUCATION PVT. LTD
CONTEXT– India will resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines in the October quarter, prioritising the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX and neighbouring countries first, as supplies rise, as per the health minister on Monday, 20 september 2021.
India stopped exports of COVID vaccine in April prioritising the inoculation of its own population as infections exploded.
The country’s monthly vaccine output has been approximately more than doubled and is targeted to quadruple to over 300 million doses next month, as per minister Mansukh Mandaviya.
Total production could reach 1 billion in the last three months of the year as new vaccines from companies such as Biological E are also likely to be approved, according to him.
The Government restricted vaccine exports in March and stopped them in mid-April but now as a welcome move to address the huge vaccine-inequity globally, India will, from October, continue exporting COVID-19 vaccines.
The decision comes after the renewed export drive, known as Vaccine Maitri. India has already shipped the first batch of vaccines to Bhutan and the Maldives as its vaccine diplomacy policy.
India had supplied nearly 20 million doses to COVAX
Donated nearly 11 million
Sold nearly 36 million doses to 26 countries
So far it was possible to export vaccines till March because of the slow uptake of vaccines by health-care, frontline workers and Covishield vaccine manufactured late last year nearing the six-month expiry date.
The daily uptake of vaccines started rising with vaccine eligibility too — all above 45 years from April 1 and all adults above 18 years from May 1.
While the developed countries are hoarding vaccines and prioritising their vaccination, India also halt all exports.
Vaccine-inequity is striking in Africa —
Just 2% out of six billion doses are administered here
less than 3.5% of its people are fully vaccinated as per the reports.
While efforts are being made through COVAX to increase vaccine supply to Africa, the continent will still end up with 25% fewer doses than anticipated by the end of 2021.
Decision of U.S.A. and developed countries w.r.t. export of vaccine-
Only 15% of one billion doses,and even more, that were pledged by the developed countries, have reached Africa so far. Thus it’s becoming difficult for people to buy medicine.
With the U.S. and other developed countries focusing efforts on approving booster doses for some specific categories, the supply of vaccines to Africa and other countries to immunise even health-care workers will continue to be restricted or neglected for the time being.
A vaccination policy that leaves many countries in the Global South vaccine-deprived will be undoubtedly counterproductive. So long as vaccine inequity prevails, the virus will continue to circulate, increasing the possibility of more dangerous, more transmissible and resistant to vaccines variants than Delta.
Decision of India w.r.t. export of vaccine-
India has decided to resume vaccine exports. The need to quickly increase vaccine production to sustain exports and parallely meet the ever-increasing domestic demand cannot be overemphasised. Vaccine production must be ramped up to sustain exports and meet domestic demand.
BY RAJEEV YADAV
FACULTY of HISTORY OPTIONAL and G.S.