India to export 8 million Covid-19 jabs in October

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New Delhi (AFP)

India will export eight million coronavirus vaccines by the end of October after lifting its ban on sending doses abroad, a senior foreign ministry official said on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to resume exports at a so-called Quad leaders meeting in Washington as India, Japan, Australia and the United States try to counter growing Chinese influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters on Saturday that most of the eight million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-injection vaccine will be sent to countries in Asia-Pacific.

“This would be ready by the end of October. This is an immediate delivery, of the Quad in the Indo-Pacific region,” Shringla told reporters.

India is one of the world’s largest vaccine producers and pledged earlier this year to export one billion Covid-19 vaccines by December 2022.

But New Delhi halted exports in May after a devastating wave of coronavirus ravaged the country.

India lifted its vaccine export ban this week as new Covid-19 infections and deaths slowed.

The country suffered weeks of vaccine shortages as a wave of coronavirus between March and May killed at least 250,000 people and infected tens of millions of people.

He has now administered nearly 840 million doses of vaccines. Almost half of the adult population has had at least one jab and 16 percent have received a second dose.

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