29 May 2021: US willing to send COVID-19 vaccines to India: S Jaishankar
India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as part of his official trip to the United States. After holding discussions with top officials there, Jaishankar said the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines formed a significant portion of those talks. He also said the US is willing to send out vaccines to India.
Quote: 'Vaccine partnership was the most important subject'
"The primary focus of the visit obviously was on the relationship with the new administration," Jaishankar told reporters in Washington on Friday. He added, "There was also of course the COVID-19 context because of the vaccine partnership between India and the US, and also Quad-based discussions on vaccines. That was also one of the important subjects."
Details: India indicates willingness to import vaccines from the US
Jaishankar also stated US President Joe Biden's administration is willing to send out "a certain number of vaccines." "He (Biden) also referred to it, so those are ready to use vaccines," he said. The Minister added that India has indicated its willingness to import vaccines that have been cleared by the US authorities. "At a policy level, there was a discussion about such possibilities."
Fact: 'Will never forget' India's help to the US: Blinken
Earlier, Jaishankar's US counterpart Blinken had said that India was there for the US during the early days of the pandemic and the country "will never forget" that. "Now we want to make sure that we are there for and with India," he reportedly said.
Details: US expected to make global donation of 80M vaccine doses
US President Biden has talked about making a donation of up to 80 million (eight crore) doses of coronavirus vaccines across the globe. The donation will comprise 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and 20 million additional doses. India, which is currently facing an acute shortage of vaccines, is expected to be one of the beneficiaries of that donation.
Visit: Jaishankar met several top officials during his US visit
During his visit, Jaishankar also met US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, over the past couple of days. He also met with business leaders there and attended a series of meetings at the United Nations. Jaishankar is the first Indian Minister to visit the US during the Biden administration.
Situation: COVID-19 and vaccination situation in India
India faced the world's worst coronavirus outbreak over the past couple of months - it reported lakhs of infections and hundreds of deaths each day. As for its vaccination drive, 20 crore doses have been administered so far, but just above 3% of the Indian population has been fully vaccinated. The US, on the other hand, has fully vaccinated over 40% of its population.
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