Vaccine Friendship: India Sends Covishield to Bhutan, Maldives as ‘Gift’ Amid COVID Pandemic

In the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19, India has supplied hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and paracetamol to numerous countries. In December, over 60 foreign envoys visited biotech companies based in the city of Hyderabad to see the COVID-19 vaccine’s progress themselves.

In a first, India has dispatched 150,000 doses of Covishield, a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford, to neighbouring Bhutan as a “gift”.

​India has also dispatched a second consignment containing 100,000 doses of Covishield to the Maldives.

​On Tuesday evening, India’s Ministry of External Affairs issued an official statement that Delhi would supply vaccines for COVID-19 in response to neighbours and other partner countries’ requests.

“In response to these requests, and in keeping with India’s stated commitment to use India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of humanity fight the COVID pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Seychelles will begin from 20 January 2021”, the press communiqué stated.

Describing the move as “Vaccine Maitri” (Vaccine Friendship), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to Twitter and said his country would meet “the global community’s healthcare needs” by supplying COVID vaccines.

India will also supply vaccines to countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius after completing the necessary regulatory clearances.

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