New Delhi, IAS. The government has approved the export of anti-COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX program to Serum Institute of India, SII. Sources said on Monday that the government has allowed SII to export 5 million doses of the anti-Covid vaccine Kovishield to the United Nations global body COVAX. The Gavi Covax facility is designed to ensure equitable global access to anti-Covid vaccines.
Official sources said the first batch of vaccines would be exported to Nepal, Tajikistan and Mozambique. Serum Institute will also export the Kovishield vaccine to Bangladesh under the COVAX programme. According to the report of news agency IANS, Serum Institute can start exporting the vaccine from November 23. It may be noted that Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya had announced that India would start exporting vaccines from October under Vaccine Maitri.
The Union Health Minister had said that in line with the motto of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, India will resume vaccine exports to fulfill the commitment to COVAX. The government had stopped the export of Kovid-19 vaccines in April this year during the second wave of the pandemic. The Indian government sold or donated 66 million doses of the anti-Covid vaccine to nearly 100 countries before the export ban.
It may be mentioned that Serum Institute of India has urged the government to expedite the supply of Kovishield, citing difficulties in the production and maintenance of other vaccines due to the increasing stock of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. According to official sources, Prakash Kumar Singh, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at SII, had recently written to the Union Health Ministry informing that the company has a stock of 24,89,15,000 doses of Kovishield vaccine, which is increasing every day. .