The India- Japan- USA and Australia Quadrilateral initiative on Friday, during its maiden summit decided to built a joint vaccine supply chain to address the current and future pandemic situations in the Indo- Pacific region. Vaccines will thereafter be developed in the US, manufactured in India, financed by Japan and US and supported by Australia through logistics for the Indo-Pacific through states which could contest China’s influence in the region.
According to Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla “The summit saw Quad leaders adopt a positive agenda and vision. Focusing on contemporary issues such as vaccine, climate change and emerging technology … the four leaders are expected to meet in person later this year on the sidelines of a big multilateral summit”. He added, “It will not impinge on India’s commitment for domestic consumption,” Shringla said. “We have an ambitious target to produce 1 billion vaccines by 2022,” the foreign secretary said.
It is believed that the vaccine capacity will allow new manufacturing capacity to be added in India for exports in the Indo-Pacific region. Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India has been able to provide vaccine to 70 countries which has led her to receive appreciation from the other leaders of the bloc. It will help meet the demand-supply gap, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region. India’s role in the Quad Vaccine Initiative will reinforce her role as a trusted, reliable manufacturer.
“We will, therefore, collaborate to strengthen equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, with close coordination with multilateral organisations including the World Health Organization and COVAX. We will combine our nations’ medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery, and development capabilities and establish a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution,” according to the joint statement.
The Summit was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, PM Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga of Japan.