Underpinning India’s principle of humanity in the face of adversity,INDIA will provide indigenous made-in-India Covid-19 vaccines to Pakistan through the Covax facility.Covax is the global alliance for supplying vaccines across the world.
The vaccines will go directly from India to Pakistan.Pakistan is being provided the vaccines under the global facility. The exact quantity has not yet been finalised and it could take some more time before the entire logistics operations and the official approvals would be complied with.Pakistan’s drug regulator, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, had given green signal to Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in January. This was incidentally the first Covid-19 vaccine to be given approval.
India has supplied vaccines at almost 65 countries so far under three categories – under Covax, in the form of grant (free of cost) and through commercial sales.According to the Ministry of External Affairs records, 579.19 lakh doses have been send to various countries. Close to 63 lakh doses have been supplied under Covax,almost 77 lakh doses under grant and 338 lakh doses under commercial deals. Bangladesh is the major country to benefit out of this with over 90 lakh doses.
The trade between the two nations had almost come to a grinding halt inthe past two years – first after the Pulwama terror attack on Indian soldiers in February 2019, and later after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was withdrawn and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.The supply of “life-saving medicines” is however exempted and can be done through the bilateral route.
Pakistan had earlier opted for Chinese vaccines and hoped to prevent the spread of the disease through herd immunity and donated vaccines.Last month, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had praised India’s commitment for supporting vaccine equity. “Thanks India & Prime Minister Narendramodi for supporting Vaccine Equity. Your commitment to #COVAX and sharing #COVID19 vaccine doses is helping 60+ countries start vaccinating their healthworkers and other priority groups. I hope other countries will follow your example,” he said in the tweet.