New Delhi [India], June 3 (ANI): India on Thursday said it remains engaged with US vaccine manufactures and also US administration for maintaining the supply chain of essential raw material needed by domestic manufacturers of coronavirus vaccine.
Addressing a weekly briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, "The Government of India has been making all efforts to augment the availability of vaccines in India whether through enhanced production in the country or through supply from abroad we remain engaged with UN vaccine manufacturers like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson."
"As part of this effort, we are separately also engaged with US administration to ensure that components and raw materials for vaccine manufacturing production in India are readily available and the supply chain remains open," Bagchi added.
He further informed that this issue of raw materials required for vaccine manufacturing was taken up by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during his most recent visit to the United States. "It is in our mutual interest to combat the global pandemic by expediting vaccination efforts," the spokesperson said.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said President Joe Biden will soon announce the allocation of 80 million vaccine stockpile as India is hoping to get a large share of the chunk to be distributed by the Biden administration.
On the Biden administration's vow to give COVID-19 vaccines, MEA spokesperson said that India is awaiting further details on the matter.
Meanwhile, India has inched closer to procure US vaccines as India's drug controller relaxes rule which stood as obstacles for these companies.
On Wednesday, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) eased rules for importing COVID-19 vaccines, by exempting rules like mandatory bridging clinical trials and testing of each batch of imported vaccines at India's Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.
The DCGI has the requirement of conducting post-approval bridging clinical trials and the requirement of testing of every batch of vaccine by the CDL can be exempted if the vaccine lot/batch is certified and released by the National Control Laboratory of the country of origin.
When asked will India be exporting vaccines in the future, MEA said India is right now focused on augmenting vaccine supply for domestic purpose and there is no question of exports at the moment
"As all of you are aware India has been at the forefront of extending a hand of assistance be it vaccines or other things for other countries. I just answer series of steps govt taken to get vaccine supply from abroad. You would appreciate against this background, we should not talk about the supply of vaccines abroad."
"As we have repeatedly conveyed we are currently purposing domestic vaccine production for our own vaccination programme," Bagchi added. (ANI)