Brazil could be first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India | The Daily Star
11:13 AM, January 15, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:16 AM, January 15, 2021

Brazil could be first country to receive Covid-19 vaccines from India

South American country struck commercial deal with Serum Institute of India as Chinese vaccine found less effective

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the start of pan-India rollout of Covid-19 vaccination drive tomorrow (Saturday) via video conferencing in what his office termed as the world's largest inoculation programme.

A total of 3,006 vaccination sites across all states and federally-administered territories, where more than three crore priority groups of the population will be vaccinated in the next few months, will be virtually connected during the launch.

Around 100 beneficiaries will be vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day, the Prime Minister's office said, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

The vaccination programme is based on the principles of priority groups and healthcare workers, both in government and private sectors, will receive the vaccine during the first phase.

Adequate doses of both the vaccines Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin produced by Bharat Biotech have already been delivered across the country.

Meanwhile, Indian media reports today said a special plane from Brazil was expected to reach India on the eve of India's vaccination drive launch to take two million doses of the shots.

If that happens, Brazil, the biggest economy of Latin America, would be the first country to receive Covid-19 vaccine from India.

The move comes in the wake of a request by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in a letter to Modi last week for vaccine.

Reports said Brazil has struck a commercial deal with Serum Institute of India for the vaccine because vaccine imported from China were found less effective in the Latin American country. Brazil is also going for Bharat Biotech's vaccine.

Yesterday, the Ministry of External Affairs has made it clear that a decision by India, the biggest vaccine-maker in terms of volume, for supply of the vaccines to other countries would take "some time".

India is at present assessing its own production and delivery schedule of vaccines and it is too early to give a specific response on supplies to other countries, the MEA spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.

The Indian government has been flooded with requests from abroad for vaccines which, officials in New Delhi said, needed to be weighed with India's own needs and the production and delivery schedules of Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech both of which have already entered into commercial deals for supply of the vaccines to different countries.

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