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India to export Covid vaccines free of cost to its neighbours as a ‘goodwill gesture’

Covaxin will be sent to 7 countries, including Mongolia and Oman, while Covishield will be sent to Bhutan & Afghanistan, among others, to help ‘meet immediate requirements’.

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New Delhi: The Modi government Monday decided to export Covid-19 vaccines to its neighbouring countries free-of-cost as a “goodwill” gesture, ThePrint has learnt.

The two vaccines approved in India on 3 January are Covishield and Covaxin. While Covishield is Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), Covaxin is manufactured by Bharat Biotech, and co-developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

On Monday, officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (parent ministry of the Department of Pharmaceuticals) met the representatives of Bharat Biotech and SII to discuss the export plan.

The government has decided to send the first tranche to help the countries “meet their immediate requirements”, official sources told ThePrint.

“As a goodwill gesture, the government is planning to send Covaxin to Mongolia, Oman, Myanmar, Philippines, Bahrain, Maldives and Mauritius,” said a senior official, who was part of the meeting. 

“Covishield will be sent to Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Seychelles,” the official added.

The officials also discussed the availability of vaccines for domestic consumption after exports. 

“We have decided that till now, half of the approved doses from Central Drugs Laboratory can be exported. Every country will only be given as per the requirement they have cited. Around 5 crore are available in stock with India of which 2.5 crore can be exported,” he said.

The government will procure the vaccines for export through the government-run pharmaceutical company, HLL Lifecare Limited. It had exported hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), last year through the same company.

ThePrint reached Minister of State for Chemical and Fertilizers Mansukh Mandaviya’s office through text and calls for an official comment on the matter, but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.

Also read: India will make and supply Covid vaccine for its friendly neighbours

Dispatches to be done shortly 

The dispatches will be done to all the neighbours, except Pakistan, in the coming days and weeks, said a second official, without revealing the exact timeline. 

“Pakistan will not be given the vaccines since they did not ask for it from the Indian government,” he added.  

According to both officials, India will adopt the same model it had adopted while exporting HCQ. 

“The government will follow the same model as it was done during the exports of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) at the height of the pandemic,” the official said, adding that the first requirements of exports to least developed countries will be free-of-cost, following which the subsequent shipments will be done on commercial terms.

“Countries that can afford the vaccines will not be given free-of-cost,” the second official said.

Also read: India plans to offer 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to its neighbours


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  1. Come on, what a stupid joke it is. Sending free medicine to neighbouring countries. Here in India the medical system is so Pathetic, so absolute pathetic and hellish, come on, whose idea is it to send medicines free of cost, I don’t know what else to say of such people. It were better such people were never born in this country.

    • Hahaha i think you are living in 20th century. India had fight covid19 si well.
      Giving free of cost vaccine to neighbors our diplomacy.

  2. Hamre liya paise me aur bahar bhejna hai tu free wah wah bhai vote hum de jitna ke liye aur hamre liye 200rs aur export free of cost jisko bura lage tu lagne so jo sahi hai woh sahi hai

  3. This is like keeping your children naked but stiching a shervani for your neighbours children 🤦🏻‍♂️ Just to be acknowledged by the society. (“Slow clap”)

    • Hahaha i think you are living in 20th century. India had fight covid19 si well.
      Giving free of cost vaccine to neighbors our diplomacy.
      Pakistani tainu nhi mili😆😆😆

  4. There you go again.

    Nothing comes free. If you think free vaccines will give you strategic advantage then it’s plain foolish.

    Babus of India have become lazy and continue to betray this quality.

    We have to find whose marvelous idea was it.

    They need to be relieved off from whatever position they are holding. You cannot survive with such blatant incompetence let alone decide and execute policies.

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