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COVID-19:Quad vaccine initiative to help Indo-Pacific nations, says PM Modi

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Washington | September 25, 2021 1:46:03 AM IST
Noting that Quad will work in the role of "force for global good", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that that the Quad vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations as the world is battling with COVID-19.

In his opening remarks at the Quad leaders meeting, Prime Minister said that the world is battling with COVID-19 and the Quad members again came together in the interest of humanity.

In March, the India-US-Japan-Australia Quadrilateral initiative, or Quad decided to build a first-of-its-kind joint vaccine supply chain to address the current and any future pandemic situations in the Indo-Pacific region.

Vaccines will be developed in the US, manufactured in India, financed by Japan and the US, and supported by Australia through logistics for the Indo-Pacific including island states.

"Our Quad vaccine initiative will help Indo-Pacific nations. Quad decided to go ahead with a positive approach on basis of our shared democratic values. I would be happy to discuss with my friends-be it supply chain, global security, climate action, COVID response or tech cooperation," PM Modi said at Quad Leaders' Summit.

"I express my gratitude to President Joe Biden for the first in-person Quad meeting. Four countries, for the first time, came together to help the Indo-Pacific region after the 2004 Tsunami. Today when the world is battling with COVID-19, we being the Quad members are again came together in the interest of humanity," he added.

Recently, the Indian government announced that the country will resume exports of COVID-19 vaccines in the October quarter, prioritising the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX and keeping the neighbouring countries first as supplies rise.

Earlier in the day, the Union Health Ministry hinted that World Health Organization's emergency use authorization to Covaxin is expected soon.

However, the World Health Organisation's (WHO) approval for the emergency use authorisation (EUA) to the Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is likely to be delayed as per the international public health agency.

In this regard, the Strategic Advisory Group of Expert on Immunization (SAGE) will be meeting on October 5 to grant EUA to Covaxin.

"There is a procedure of submitting the documents for approval. WHO's emergency use authorization to Covaxin is expected soon," said Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar who is currently the Union Minister of State in the Health Ministry.

During the last summit, Quad partners are working collaboratively to achieve expanded manufacturing of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in India, prioritizing increased capacity for vaccines authorized by Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRA).

Quad partners will address financing and logistical demands for the production, procurement, and delivery of safe and effective vaccines.

Meanwhile, several foreign vaccines makers such as Pfizer, Moderna are facing indemnity issues in India. Pfizer has obtained legal protection in several countries, including Britain and the United States, but India has not given any manufacturer of a Covid vaccine indemnity.

Pfizer, Moderna have demanded an indemnity bond that will exempt them from legal claims in case there are any adverse effects from the vaccines when administered in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to the US is expected to end the stalemate over indemnity and other issues involving US drugmakers.

The Biden administration had announced a donation of 80 million doses from its domestic stockpile with countries around the world, including India.

The United States on July 13 said that it was ready to ship COVID-19 vaccines as soon as it got a green signal from the Indian government that has sought further time to review legal provisions related to accepting the donation. (ANI)

 
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