India to resume Vaccine Maitri initiative in fourth quarter: Health Minister
Vaccine Maitri initiative was put on hold in April 2021 amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19 that swept across the country to give priority to vaccinate own population.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed on September 20, 2021 that India will resume its Vaccine Maitri initiative in the fourth quarter this year, starting from October 2021.
The Health Minister informed that India will resume the initiative given that Biological E and some other companies are going to launch their vaccines and India will produce more vaccine doses than the requirement.
The Health Minister shared that the centre is expecting more than 30 crore doses from the vaccine manufacturers in the next month. He stated that the production will go further up as Biological E and other companies are bringing their vaccines into the market.
#WATCH | Given that Biological E & some other companies are going to launch their vaccines, we'll produce more vaccine doses than the requirement in the fourth quarter and resume 'Vaccine Maitri' & also fulfil our commitments under COVAX: Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya pic.twitter.com/lA8S0aFAup— ANI (@ANI) September 20, 2021
He said, "Under Vaccine Maitri, we will help the world and contribute to Covax in the fourth quarter." The Vaccine Maitri initiative was launched by the centre to provide Covid-19 vaccines to countries around the world and also fulfill its commitments under Covax facility.
Vaccination of own citizens topmost priority
The Health Minister highlighted that the vaccination of own citizens will remain as the topmost priority. He estimated that the target of the fourth quarter will be to make around 100 crore vaccine doses available in the market.
How many Indians have been vaccinated so far?
India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark figure of 80 crores on September 20, 2021. As of 8 pm on September 20th, 80,85,68,144 doses have been administered across India, which includes 37,78,296 vaccine doses that were administered in the last 24 hours. Out of the total 80,85,68,144 doses, 60,36,66,773 are first doses, while 20,49,01,371 are second doses. This data was shared by the Union Health Ministry on its official website.
Vaccine Maitri initiative
India had started providing vaccines to other countries under the Vaccine Maitri initiative from January 20, 2021. The initiative was a humanitarian initiative that was undertaken by the central government to provide made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines to countries across the globe.
India shared COVID-19 vaccines with over 80 countries under its Vaccine Maitri initiative, a key step towards addressing vaccine inequity across the world.
Vaccine Maitri initiative was put on hold in April 2021 amid the deadly second wave of COVID-19 that swept across the country to give more priority to vaccinate its own population.