Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday confirmed that US COVID-19 vaccines will be manufactured in India, adding that they would be financed by the US and Japan with logistical support from Australia.

Speaking at a special Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) briefing, he said: “US vaccines will be manufactured in India. India’s manufacturing capabilities and capacities have been recognised in this regard. Each of the other three Quad leaders made it a point to talk about the Vaccine Maitri programme, our endeavour to supply vaccines all over the world despite our own requirements. I think this is being seen as an important initiative to address COVID-19 and put the pandemic behind us.”

Shringla further stressed that India’s manufacturing capacity is going to be leveraged to create US vaccines, which would be financed by the US and Japan.

“You’ll have Australia contributing for last-mile and logistical delivery issues. In other words, Australia will also finance countries that are going to receive these vaccines,” he added.

The Foreign Secretary also disclosed an ambitious target of producing a billion COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.

“We are talking about producing a billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2022. It is an ambitious target. If you look at the fact that vaccines all over the world are limited to a few hundred million, a billion is a fairly large number. This is both an ambitious and much-needed initiative that the Quad is undertaking,” he said.

During the Quad meeting, future pandemics were also discussed and how the group will deal with them.

“The Quad does not stand against something; it stands for something. It stands for something which is positive, in the realm for consideration for others,” he also said.

The Quad which is a strategic forum comprising India, Japan, Australia and the United States of America, will hold its first-ever head of states meet virtually on Friday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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