Indian PM Narendra Modi, Australia’s PM Scott Morrison, Japan’s PM Yoshihide Suga and US President Joe Biden, leaders of the Quad, will be meeting at 7pm virtually on Friday (March 11).
Sources told Zee News that the Quad vaccine initiative will basically function as “vaccines developed in the US, manufactured in India, financed by Japan and US, and supported by Australia” and will allow “new manufacturing capacity to be added” in India for exports to the Indo-Pacific region.
India has been playing a major role in terms of providing COVID-19 vaccines to the global community and so far sent vaccines to 69 countries. The total vaccines India has sent, both as gift and commercial is at 585.30 lakh doses. This number includes 1 lakh doses sent to UN Health workers.
Sources explained, “Our role in the Quad vaccine initiative will project and reinforce India’s credentials as a trusted, reliable manufacturer and supplier of quality vaccines.”
“It will appreciably expand our vaccine maitri effort” and “strengthen India’s standing…. as a critical node in global health supply chains, and as a selfless contributor to global health security,” the source added.
India produces 60 per cent of global vaccines and amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been termed the “pharmacy of the world”.
Last year it sent medicines such as HCQ and Paracetamol to around 150 countries to deal with covid. Interestingly, the Quad+ initiative at the foreign secretary-level regularly met virtually in 2020 to share best practices to deal with the crisis.
Pointing out, sources said, “pooling of individual capacities and strengths by Quad countries” is aimed at “expediting global vaccine delivery” and will help meet the “demand-supply gap, focusing on the Indo-Pacific region.”
Beijing sees Quad as “anti China” grouping, something dismissed by member countries.
In the backdrop of Chinese views, the sources said Quad’s “model of enlightened, humanitarian collective action” through the supply of COVID-19 vaccines will “offer a template for peace, cooperation and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region”.