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We have supplied more vaccines globally than having vaccinated our own people: India tells UN

United Nations: India has supplied more COVID-19 vaccines globally than vaccinated its own people, the country has told the UN General Assembly and cautioned that vaccine inequity will defeat the collective global resolve to contain the coronavirus as the disparity in the accessibility of vaccines will affect the poorest nations the most.

India was one of the initiators of the ‘Political Declaration on Equitable Global Access to COVID-19 Vaccines’ that garnered the support of more than 180 UN member states.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said at the General Assembly informal meeting on Friday that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist, the year 2021 began on a positive note with the global scientific community coming up with multiple vaccines to contain the pandemic.

“While the vaccine challenge has been resolved, we are now confronted with ensuring the availability, accessibility, affordability, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Lack of global cooperation and disparity in the accessibility of vaccines will affect the poorest nations the most,” Naidu said.

India has been at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19. Naidu told the General Assembly that India would not only be vaccinating 300 million of its own frontline workers over the next six months but in the process had also supplied vaccines to over 70 nations.

“In fact, as of today we have supplied more vaccines globally than have vaccinated our own people,” Naidu said.

Two of India’s vaccines, including the indigenously developed Covaxin, have already been granted emergency authorisation, Naidu said, adding that 30 more vaccine candidates are at various phases of clinical trials.

The vaccine Covishield is the version of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. Covaxin is the indigenously developed vaccine by pharma company Bharat Biotech.