Having faced a terrible viral outbreak that ruined innumerable lives, India is finally is seeing a decline on its number of coronavirus cases. Now that the vaccines have been developed, India is overseeing the world’s largest vaccine distribution programme which involves 1.3 billion people of its own population that is to be vaccinated, not counting the doses gifted to foreign countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi mid-January that around 2.3 million health workers had been vaccinated. India aims to vaccinate around 300 million people by the time July starts.
India has been shipping doses of vaccine to several countries that include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Seychelles and Sri Lanka. These vaccines were sent to these countries as part of Operation ‘Vaccine Maitri,’ launched on January 20. By now, already 5 million vaccines have been gifted to India’s immediate neighbours that include 1,50,000 doses to Bhutan, 2 million to Bangladesh and 1 million to Nepal. Most of these countries, which are not well-to-do, were charged absolutely no costs whatsoever, including shipping.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who had voiced his support of the farmers’ protests and criticising the Indian government, called Prime Minister Modi in order to request for coronavirus vaccines.
India, on the other hand, deliberately ignoring Prime Minister Trudeau’s comments and only considering Canada’s need for the vaccines, has agreed to try and provide the vaccines to Canada, as dictated by its own internal need.
However, the export will be of wholly commercial nature, and Canada will be charged fully for the manufacture, shipping and any other costs involving the vaccines.