The global Covid -19 control depends a lot on how India jacks up its vaccine production. India remains the largest vaccine producer and had started vaccine exports around the globe from January 2021. However, the devastating second wave which hit the nation in March had led to an abrupt halt in vaccine exports. Today, the situation is vastly different. India has managed to flatten the Covid-19 curve and the world is again looking with expectations towards India to fulfill the global Covid-19 vaccine demand.
Convincing India to resume exports of vaccines is an important agenda of the Joe Biden administration. The Biden administration is facing flak for its handling of the Afghanistan crisis and the present government’s ranking is at rock bottom. President Biden would like to bring up something spectacular to uplift his sagging image.
Biden administration expects India to restart vaccine exports
Joe Biden is promising to offer a major role to Prime Minister Narendra Modi if India agrees to restart exports of Covid-19 vaccines. Globally vaccine supply is very important and the only route which can contain the menace of the illness. According to Axios, the Biden administration is slowly ratcheting the pressure to force India to once again start the export of vaccines globally.
Covax , the global vaccination organization, is an important part of the Biden administration efforts to contain the pandemic. However, convincing India is not going to be easy. The deaths caused by the second wave of Covid -19 pandemic still haunts the Union government and with many states going to polls, the NDA government would not want to risk starting exports and precipitate a vaccine shortage in the country.
Covid-19 likely to be key topic of discussion at Quad leaders’ summit
Till date, 75 crore people have been vaccinated in the country. This is just about 50% of the total population. With the looming threat of a third wave high, it will not be possible for the Union government to permit export of vaccines. The US has also halted exports and stockpiled millions of doses for the booster immunization program later. Therefore, it is on a moral high ground to ask India to start exports.
Answers to these questions will show up only after the September 24th summit of leaders of the “Quad” countries – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. The Covid- 19 pandemic is expected to be a key topic of discussion at the Quad leaders’ summit in Washington.