A top foreign ministry official said Saturday that India will export eight million coronavirus vaccine jabs by the end of October after lifting its ban on exporting doses abroad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to resume exports during a summit of the so-called Quad leaders in Washington, as India, Japan, Australia, and the United States seek to resist growing Chinese dominance in the Asia-Pacific region.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s foreign secretary, told reporters on Saturday that the majority of the eight million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccination will be shipped to Asia-Pacific countries.
“This should be completed by the end of October. This is a direct transmission from the Quad to the Indo-Pacific area “Shringla explained to reporters.
India is one of the world’s largest vaccine producers, and earlier this year vowed to export one billion Covid-19 vaccines by December 2022.
However, after a deadly coronavirus epidemic decimated the country in May, New Delhi halted exports.
With new Covid-19 infections and deaths declining, India removed its vaccine export prohibition this week.
The country faced weeks of vaccine shortages as a coronavirus outbreak killed at least 250,000 people and sickened tens of millions more between March and May.
It has now provided over 840 million doses of vaccination. Almost half of the adult population has had at least one vaccination, with 16% receiving a second dose.
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