Assessing availability, decision on COVID vaccines supply to other nations 'may take some time': MEA

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) India on Thursday said it is still assessing production schedules and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, and any decision on their supply to other countries 'may take some time'.

This was stated by the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. The remarks come in the backdrop of media reports that Brazil is sending an aircraft to procure doses of the coronavirus vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

'In so far as requests from countries for vaccines from India, you would recall that Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has already stated that India's vaccine production and delivery capacity would be used for the benefit of all humanity in fighting this crisis,' he said in response to questions on supply of vaccines to neighbouring countries and reports that Brazil is sending a plane for procuring vaccine doses.

'As you know, the vaccination process is just starting in India. It is too early to give a specific response on the supplies to other countries as we are still assessing production schedules and availability to take decisions in this regard. This may take some time,' he said at an online briefing.

India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India's COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 via video conferencing. PTI ASK MPB AAR AAR