India to make 1 billion vaccine doses for Indo-Pacific

Chennai: Leaders of the four-nation Quad, in their first-ever summit on Friday, finalised a landmark initiative under which huge investments will be made in India to create additional production capacities to roll out a billion coronavirus vaccine doses by 2022 for exports to the Indo-Pacific region, seen as a significant step to counter China’s expanding vaccine diplomacy.

The group decided to launch a mega vaccine initiative under which coronavirus vaccines will be produced in India for the Indo-Pacific region – in an effort to counter Chinese influence – with financial assistance from the US and Japan while Australia will contribute in logistical aspects.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “United in our fight against Covid-19, we launched a landmark Quad partnership to ensure accessibility of safe Covid-19 vaccines. India’s formidable vaccine production capacity will be expanded with support from Japan, US & Australia to assist countries in the Indo-Pacific region.”

“PM Modi, it’s great to see you,” US President Biden said as the two leaders met for the first time since the new administration took charge after the November US election.

Modi, in his opening remarks, said the four countries were united by their democratic values and that the Quad would remain an important pillar of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

NT Bureau