Actively pursuing enhancement of vaccine availability through imports: Govt

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New Delhi, Jul 8 (PTI) The government on Thursday said it is 'actively pursuing' the enhancement of Covid vaccine availability through imports and reiterated that its current focus is on purposing domestic production towards its vaccination programme.

At an online media briefing, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India hopes that individual countries would increasingly recognise made-in-India vaccines.

'Let me reiterate that our current focus continues to be on purposing domestic production towards India's domestic vaccination programme,' he said.

'We are also actively pursuing the enhancement of vaccine availability through imports. This has helped increase the pace of vaccination in recent weeks,' Bagchi said.

Currently, three COVID-19 vaccines -- Covaxin by Bharat Biotech, Covishield by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Russia's Sputnik V -- are being used for inoculation in India.

The total number of vaccine doses administered so far has reached 36.48 crore under the nationwide vaccination drive.

Asked about the World Health Organization approval for Covaxin, Bagchi said the government is continuing to monitor the progress and added, 'I would refer you to Bharat Biotech for the exact status of where it stands.' 'We also hope that individual countries would increasingly recognize made-in-India vaccines,' he said.

Asked how many countries have shown interest in India's technology platform for vaccination CoWin, Bagchi pointed out that a very important event, the CoWIN Global Conclave, was convened earlier this week and was addressed by the prime minister and other dignitaries.

'This was an opportunity to offer to the world our indigenously developed digital platform CoWin which is an open source and can be shared with all. More than 400 participants from over 140 partner countries participated,' the MEA spokesperson said, adding that discussions will continue with partner countries. PTI ASK SMN SMN

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