India to resume export of Covid vaccines from October: Govt

New Delhi : Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya announced on Monday that India will resume the export of Covid-19 vaccines from October onwards.

The minister said that surplus doses of Covid-19 vaccines from homegrown production will be used to fulfil the commitment India made to the World Health Organisation’s COVAX programme.

“India will be resuming the export of Vaccines under Vaccine Maitri to fulfil the commitment of India towards COVAX, in line with our motto Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. The surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfil our commitment towards the world for the collective fight against Covid-19,” he added.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO.

Mandaviya indicated that the decision has been taken after a visible supply of nearly 100 crore doses India is expected to have in the next quarter.

“More than 30 crore doses will be produced in October and more than 100 crores in the coming quarter vaccines will be produced. Keeping this in view, we have decided to resume the Vaccine Maitri programme,” he said.

India was supplying vaccines to its immediate neighbours and the global COVAX scheme for poorer countries under its ambitious Vaccine Maitri programme until it halted exports in the middle of April after the infections exploded amid the deadliest second wave of Covid-19.

The programme was coordinated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) which came to a halt after exporting a little over 63 million doses to 95 nations as the country shifted its complete focus on domestic immunisation, as per the data.

The last dispatch of vaccines by India before the export ban was made to Albania and Syria of 50,000 and 2.5 lakh doses respectively on April 16.