Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

United States to send raw material 'urgently required' to manufacture Covishield in India

US offers its deepest sympathy to the people of India who are suffering during this global pandemic said White House press secretary Jen Psaki US offers its deepest sympathy to the people of India who are suffering during this global pandemic said White House press secretary Jen Psaki
Gustavo Carr | 26 April, 2021, 00:40

In a statement issued hours after the first announcement, the White House said it will "immediately" make supplies of material to make vaccines, as well as therapeutics, tests, ventilators and protective equipment available to India. "And there is more we can do".

Washington: The US has once again refused to lift restrictions on export of raw materials used in covid vaccine manufacturing in India.

Others such as US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the Biden administration to release unused vaccines to India. The US government can stop the companies from exporting them.

But the reporter from a Western news service had in fact asked only about the raw materials.

Earlier this week, a report by The Economist suggested that vaccine production in India will come to a halt within weeks if the U.S. does not lift the ban on 37 crucial items.

The export controls do not, in fact, come under the jurisdiction of the USTR which deals only with the matters of intellectual property rights. However, the Biden administration has put a curb on the export of these items under a wartime law, the US Defence Production Act. "And obviously, they need to get their people vaccinated because that's the only way we're going to turn that around".

"And I believe you will see shortly that all these things that we're talking about are on the table, and we will be moving towards that", he said. "Number two, the American people, this country has been hit harder than any other country around the world more than 550,000 deaths, tens of millions of infections in this country alone", he added.

But Price conceded that the spread of the virus elsewhere is also a threat to everyone.

Former US vice president Walter Mondale dies
Mondale would go on to win the Democratic presidential nomination himself in 1984, and make history by naming a woman, US Rep. Biden, the former vice president to Barack Obama , said Mondale greatly helped him prepare for the role.

"Our hearts go out to the Indian people in the midst of the horrific COVID-19 outbreak". And it's why we made the biggest investment in COVAX and we are committed to sharing vaccine supply.

It listed other initiatives Washington is taking to help India battle its surge, but did not mention sending surplus AstraZeneca vaccine, as a backlash grows over the fate of the USA stockpile of some 30 million doses which have not been approved for use.

India, the world's most-populous democracy, is a vital US partner, especially at a time when relations with China are at a low point.

The United States has promised to send more support to India as the country grapples with an escalating COVID-19 pandemic that has seen the country report world record high cases for four days in a row.

The US decision on whether to lift the ban could prove to be even more crucial for India in the coming few months as all citizens above the age of 18 will become eligible for the vaccine in the third phase of inoculation, starting from May 1, leading to a greater demand. "The EU is pooling resources to respond rapidly to India's request for assistance via the EU civil protection mechanism".

While not committing to waiver of intellectual property rights, Tai had given a hint of optimism saying that the inequities in the developing countries' access to vaccines was unacceptable and "extraordinary times require extraordinary leadership, communication, and creativity".

Besides, India has recently approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute.