New York: US President Joe Biden is pressuring India to open its Covid vaccine exports. As per reports, the US administration will raise the issue in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework hosted by US President Joe Biden on September 24. Along with Indian PM, Australian and Japanese Presidents will attend the meeting.
‘We have regularly been communicating with the government of India in bilateral and multilateral channels to discuss vaccine supply and inquire about the timeline for exports, and these conversations are not tied to a specific summit or engagement’, said a top US official to Axios.
As per the reports, the US administration is planning to offer a higher-profile role for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the COVID-19 global summit in New York if he agrees to release vaccines soon.
India has stopped the exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine — one of the cheapest on the market — early this year due to the second wave of coronavirus infection in the country. India is the world’s biggest vaccine maker.
The US administration had also banned vaccine exports for months until it had enough supply for all US citizens. It has also reserved hundreds of millions of doses for boosters.
For the US, vaccinating as much of the developing world, as quickly as possible, is crucial because the spread of the virus will produces more dangerous variants. According to data released by WHO, around 5 billion Covid vaccine doses have been administered globally, with 75% of them administered in just 10 countries.