The United States on Tuesday said that it is ready to ship its COVID-19 vaccines expeditiously when it has the green light from the Indian government which has told the Americans that it needs further time to review legal provisions related to accepting vaccines donations.
“We are ready to ship those vaccines expeditiously when we have a green light from the Government of India,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters at his daily news conference.
The Biden Administration has announced to share 80 million doses from its domestic stockpile with countries around the world, including India. In recent weeks, the US vaccines have landed in countries across the world, including Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. However, the vaccines to India could not be sent because the Indian government is yet to clear the necessary legal hurdles for such an emergency import.
“Before we can ship those doses, however, each country must complete its own domestic set of operational, of regulatory, and legal processes that are specific to each country. Now, India has determined that it needs further time to review legal provisions related to accepting vaccine donations,” Price said. “Once India works through its legal processes, our donations of vaccines to India will proceed expeditiously. We would need to refer you to the Government of India on the status of its discussions with COVAX, which, in this case, is helping to facilitate that delivery,” he said.
“More broadly in the region, throughout South Asia, we’re donating millions of vaccines to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Roughly 40 million doses have been delivered worldwide so far,” he added. Responding to another question, Price said that the COVID-19 cooperation between the two countries is built on decades of successful partnership in health and biomedical research.
India reported 37,154 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry. India’s active caseload of COVID-19 cases is at 4,50,899. The active cases constitute 1.46 percent of the total cases. The country also reported 724 deaths due to COVID-19 and with that, the cumulative fatalities in the country due to viral infection reached 4,08,764