India will contribute to the global vaccination effort with additional coronavirus vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country will release more locally made COVID-19 vaccines as New Delhi continues to save the lives of people in other countries by exporting drugs and vaccines.
“So far, only two vaccines made in India have been introduced, but in the future many more vaccines will be available,” Modi said Thursday at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, adding that India had “fulfilled its responsibilities” by setting up infrastructures linked to vaccination.
The South Asian nation, one of the world’s largest drug makers, produces two vaccines – Covishield, licensed from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, and Covaxin, developed at home by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Covishield is produced at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, located in Pune, in the western state of Maharashtra.
Indian company Zydus Cadila is also developing a native DNA-based vaccine, ZyCov-Da, at its factory in Ahmedabad city, Modi home state of Gujarat.
India exports the vaccine to several countries, including providing hundreds of thousands of free immunization doses to neighboring countries, where it fights to influence its rival of china.
India started vaccinating people on January 16 and has so far given a dose to nearly 2.4 million health workers and others, with the goal of vaccinating 300 million Indians by July .
Modi also said India will issue health ID cards to its 1.3 billion citizens.
He said India had taken steps to overcome the shock caused by the spread of COVID-19 and carried out reforms to improve its economy.
India’s economy, Asia’s third-largest, set to contract 7.7% in current fiscal year ending March, worst performance in 40 years as COVID-19 lockdown hit economic and industrial activity.
“I want to assure the business world that the situation will now change rapidly on the economic front as well,” he said, adding that India’s push for self-sufficiency through local manufacturing aims to transform the country into an export center.
India believes in opening up all sectors to private actors and would provide support to companies seeking to invest in the country, he added.
“Our [self-reliance policy] is committed to the global good and the global supply chain. India has the capacity, the capacity and the reliability to strengthen the global supply chain, ”he said.
The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum earlier this year is being held online due to the pandemic. Usually thousands of politicians and business leaders gather in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos.