Afghan security forces, health workers to be vaccinated using India-made COVID vaccines

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Feb 07, 2021, 08:26 PM(IST)

India's Cd'A Raghuram S gifts India made covid vaccines to country's acting minister of Public Health Waheed Majroh. Picture credits: MEA Photograph:( Others )

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With the notable exception of Pakistan, due to obvious reasons, all of India's neighbours have been gifted COVID-19 vaccines

India on Sunday gifted Afghanistan 500,000 doses of made-in-India coronavirus vaccines. The vaccines will be used to vaccinate Afghan Security forces and health workers. 

The vaccine contingent reached on an Air India plane at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International airport and was handed over by India's Cd'A Raghuram S to the country's acting minister of Public Health Waheed Majroh. India is the first country to send COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan. 

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The Indian mission in a statement said, "India is the first responder to deliver covid vaccines to Afghanistan". Last year during the pandemic, India gifted 20 MT of COVID-19 vaccines to Afghanistan. It also sent 75,000 MT of wheat to the country as humanitarian aid via Chabahar port to prevent any shortage of food amid the pandemic.

With the notable exception of Pakistan, due to obvious reasons, all of India's neighbours have been gifted COVID-19 vaccines by New Delhi. In fact, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan began their vaccination programme using India-made vaccines. In contrast, Pakistan has stood out by being the only country in South Asia to begin its vaccination using the Chinese vaccine.

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So far, India has supplied vaccines to 17 countries, both as gifts and commercially. These are Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Brazil, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Kuwait, and South Africa. With Afghanistan being the 18th country to get India's vaccine. Supplies gifted amount to 56 lakh doses and commercial supplies amount to over 100 lakh doses.

In the coming weeks, Indian vaccines are scheduled to reach CARICOM countries (the Caribbean), Pacific Island States, Nicaragua, Mongolia, etc. 60 per cent of global vaccines are produced by India, and apart from COVID-19 vaccines, India is the largest supplier of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines. The world health organization sources 70 per cent of its vaccine needs from India.

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