India delivers 1 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Nepal
Vaccines shipped to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles
KATHMANDU: A vaccine against COVID-19 provided by India to Nepal as a grant has been sent to Kathmandu from Delhi this morning.
Anurag Srivastava, the spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said that the ‘Vaccine Friendship’ has left for Nepal. Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra is handing over the vaccine to Nepal at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
India has provided one million doses of vaccine as a grant. The Ministry of Health has set the criteria for how to distribute vaccines from India.
Vaccine Diplomacy for neighbours
“First consignment takes off for Bhutan!” was the first of a flurry of tweets from the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Anurag Srivastava, as he posted pictures of batches leaving and arriving at different destinations, “Indian vaccines reach Maldives, reflects our special friendship.”
The Serum Institute is producing the vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca under the local brand name COVISHIELD and will distribute it to India, its neighboring countries and other low and middle income countries.
SII is currently producing approximately 60 million doses of COVISHIELD a month and aims to increase this to a 100 million doses by March. SII has also agreed to supply COVAX, the WHO backed alliance created to ensure equitable access to vaccines, with 200 million doses to be distributed at the beginning of 2021.