healthcare | IST

Global Eye: Experts discuss Indo-US vaccine diplomacy

Mini

As India grapples with an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases and insufficient vaccine supply, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is in the United States meeting top officials of the Biden administration. What can India expect from the United States in terms of COVID support? To take this discussion forward, CNBC-TV18’s Parikshit Luthra spoke to Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, he also represents Illinois' 8th Congressional District and Mukesh Aghi, President of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

As India grapples with an unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases and insufficient vaccine supply, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is in the United States meeting top officials of the Biden administration.
Key issues on the agenda for his five-day trip include procuring vaccines and other raw materials for India from US-based companies.
The minister met US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivian, and USTR Ambassador Katherine Tai. He also met members of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum as well as the US-India business council and members of the US Global COVID Task Force.
The United States has announced it will be donating 80 million vaccine doses to several countries that are facing a shortage-- 60 million doses will be the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the remaining 20 million doses are from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
However, the US has not announced how much of these 80 million doses will go to India.
What can India expect from the United States in terms of COVID support? To take this discussion forward, CNBC-TV18’s Parikshit Luthra spoke to Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, he also represents Illinois' 8th Congressional District and Mukesh Aghi, President of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.
On COVID doses Krishnamoorthi said, “A large of those doses should go to India, but we have actually proposed something much more extensive than that. We have actually set up a program to vaccinate 60 percent of India’s population along with 60 percent of the population of low and middle-income countries around the world.”
“The main issue right now is that they are trying to make sure that the vaccine doses that they are trying to allocate to India and other countries is actually safe. Many of these vaccine doses especially the AstraZeneca ones were produced at a factory in Baltimore which is now under scrutiny for safety concerns. So first we have to make sure that these vaccines are safe before they are shipped anywhere in the world including India.”
On legal issues, Aghi said, “US government has given the vaccine makers indemnification liability issues and almost 70 countries around the world have given that indemnification.
The vaccine makers are asking the same thing to the central government of India to provide indemnification at the same time be able to recognise this vaccine on an emergency basis so that it can be inoculated.
So the request is all across the world, it is not specific towards India and that discussions are happening between the vaccine makers and Government of India, which I am not privy to, but I think the process continues and the feedback we are getting is the vaccine makers are very keen to supply vaccines to India on urgent basis.”
Watch accompanying video for more.
next story

Market Movers

Currency

CompanyPriceChng%Chng