Should India first provide COVID-19 vaccines to India and then to the rest of the world?

The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has been hampering the situation of world economy and India is certainly one of the countries that has been affected the worst. Everyday we are seeing a huge rise in the number of cases and on an average more than 200,000 cases are being registered.

We are seeing a rise in the number of patients again even though the process of vaccination has begun. The question lies whether India should first serve the people of the country or keep on sending the vaccines to the rest of the world?

Coronavirus India Highlights: Daily case count crosses one lakh for the  first time, past previous high of 97,894 cases | India News,The Indian  Express

Should India export vaccines to the rest of the world?

Serum Institute of India has secured funding from GAVI and the Gates Foundation to deliver up to 200 million doses of both vaccines for India and other low-and middle-income countries, so technically it is bound to make vaccines for India and rest of the world, especially the third world countries.

A policy that has been introduced by India which is called the ‘Neighbourhood Policy‘ to assist financial assistance across the South Asian region that includes countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives. So, it’s India’s policy to help the neighbouring states with vaccines for maintaining good relations.

There is also a term in Economics which is called Interdependence of Economics which is exchange of goods and services between two nations, organisations or people. On a macro level, nations and big organisations from different countries trade and exchange goods. It has led to globalization and free trade of goods among nations.

India Gifts 1.2 Million Covid-19 Vaccine Doses to Bangladesh During PM  Modi's Dhaka Visit
PM Modi giving 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines as gifts to the PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina

Interdependent economies come under liberalism which says that countries act in good faith as it is a win-win situation and additionally it helps maintain the international order. Nations think about economic ties and benefits first and hence a lot of conflicts can be avoided. As developed nations are reaching saturation in development, trade and foreign investment are the two ways to have economic growth. Commerce has led to peace among nations, they come to a mutual understanding on trade.

Russia and the USA have not had the best relations in the past but economic matters have always kept both of them at bay. In 2018, Russia had imported goods worth $20.9 billion and exported $6.7 billion worth goods from the United States of America. 

But in March, India placed a temporary hold on all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The government said rising cases meant domestic demand was expected to pick up and so the doses were needed for India’s own rollout.

How many vaccines have been exported by India till date?

As of March 17, 2021, India has exported around 64 million vaccines to 86 countries which is twice the number of vaccines they have used for Indians alone to Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. The recipient countries include UK, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. India has so far given more than 100 million doses of two approved vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin.

India Gets 2 Vaccines Against Coronavirus as Covaxin, Covishield Get Final  Nod by DCGI

Both Covishield and Covaxin have been sent out – some as ‘gifts’, others in accordance with business arrangements endorsed between the vaccine producers and the beneficiary countries, and the rest under the Covax scheme, which is driven by the World Health Organization (WHO) and desires to convey in excess of two billion portions to individuals in 190 nations in under a year. As of late, India’s PM visited Bangladesh and had talented 1.2 million free portions to battle the circumstance of COVID-19.

Who is developing the vaccines for India and the rest of the world?

The answer is Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer will manufacture AstraZeneca Plc’s Covishield and another formulation developed by US rival Novavax Inc. It says it is producing more than 60 million doses a month.

ANI on Twitter: "Serum Institute of India & ICMR, announce completion of  enrolment of phase 3 clinical trials for COVISHIELD in India. ICMR & SII  have further collaborated for clinical development of

AstraZeneca said in June it had authorized SII to supply 1 billion dosages of its vaccines to in excess of 60 low and middle income nations. SII is likewise chipping away at creating in-house antibodies and has joined forces with U.S. biotech firm Codagenix and Austria’s Themis to possibly produce their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

SII has effectively made and stored in excess of 50 million portions of COVISHIELD and expects to increase creation to 400 million dosages by mid-2021. It has effectively applied for crisis use approval of the antibody in India.

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