External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar announced today (17 Feb) in a virtual address to the UN Security Council - a gift of 200,000 doses of vaccines for UN Peacekeepers worldwide. Made in India vaccines totaling around 8 million have now been supplied to over 25 nations and 49 countries across the world will be added soon to the list of beneficiaries under its #VaccineMaitri (Vaccine Friendship) initiative, dubbed as Vaccine Diplomacy by the media.
India had earlier announced the donation of around half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the CARICOM. As part of this, Guyana along with Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts & Nevis will also receive tens of thousands of doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to meet the immediate requirements of vaccinating healthcare workers, frontline workers and those with co-morbidities within the end of February 2021. The COVISHIELD vaccine is manufactured in India by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer in collaboration with Oxford-AstraZeneca. In addition to the doses announced as gifts today, India will also assist the CARICOM countries in securing supplies of vaccines at affordable rates from Indian manufacturing companies. By providing Covid vaccine within days of its rollout, India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again demonstrated its willingness and ability to act as a First Responder to crises in the World.
India’s vaccine manufacturers can manufacture upto 650-800 million vaccines by August 2021 (Serum Institute of India alone has agreed to produce 1.1 billion doses for delivery in total), which will be used also to supply to the GAVI’s COVAX facility and has committed to supply 10 million doses to Africa, 1 million doses to UN workers and other countries across the world. Recognizing India's remarkable contribution to the fight against COVID by supplying vaccines, a resolution which was sponsored by CARICOM was adopted by the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States by acclamation today, expressed its gratitude to the Government of India for generously supplying beneficial quantities of the Serum Institute made Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to several Caribbean countries.
On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use in its COVAX vaccination program, which aims to provide poorer countries around the world with "equitable access" to COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, in the world’s largest vaccination program ever which started on January 16, India has so far vaccinated around 9 million citizens with a goal to vaccinate 30 million frontline workers by March 2021.
Last phase Trials of other Made in India COVID-19 vaccines are progressing well in India. Currently, there are few vaccines in different phases of trials. India’s first indigenous vaccine against the novel coronavirus, COVAXIN being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology, Pune, is in the second phase of clinical trials. Others like ZyCOV-D developed by Zydus Cadilla in Ahmedabad, and Novavax’s protein subunit vaccine, are also undergoing trials in various stages. According to the Indian Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan, at least 18-19 coronavirus vaccine candidates including oral and nasal vaccines are in the pipeline and will be available for use in India in coming few months highlighting India’s predominant role as the “pharmacy of the world”.
During this pandemic, the Government of India had earlier assisted Guyana and Antigua and Barbuda with Ventilators, PPEs, medicines and other essential medical supplies worth USD 1 million each and USD 300,000 to St Kitts & Nevis to tide over the crisis unleashed by the Covid pandemic. India had also supplied Hydroxichloroquine Tablets and other medicines (including USD 100,000 worth medicines to St Kitts & Nevis) to help these countries in their fight against the pandemic
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Guyana
Ministry of Health - Guyana
Dr. The Honourable Timothy Harris
Office of The Prime Minister Antigua and Barbuda
HM Governor's Office in Anguilla
Antigua News Room