Bhutan, Maldives First Among 6 Countries To Receive Indian COVID Vaccine

Mumbai: Bhutan and Maldives on Wednesday became the first two countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines sent by India with their “neighbourhood first” policy.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar shared on Twitter a picture of the consignments reached in both countries.

India said on Tuesday that it would send COVID-19 vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles as a grant-in-aid from Wednesday.

Supplies to Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius will begin after confirmation of the necessary regulatory clearances.

It is learned that 1,50,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) were sent to Bhutan and 1,00,000 doses reached the Maldives as part of India’s grant-in-aid.

Mr Jaishankar tweeted with a picture of the consignments, “Indian vaccines reach the Maldives, showing our special friendship.”

India is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the world, and several countries have already approached it to purchase the coronovirus vaccine.

The Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday that India will supply COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks and months, keeping in mind the domestic needs.

India has already started a large-scale coronavirus vaccination campaign, under which two vaccines, covishield and covaxin, are being given to health workers across the country.

Covishield of Oxford-AstraZeneca is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, while Covaxin is being manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

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