K Jha Washington: Quad countries are on track to produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid vaccine in India by the end of 2022, the White House said here as it reiterated its commitment to provide free jabs to the needy across the world without any strings attached. The Quad grouping comprises Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
In March, leaders of the Quad, during their first virtual summit, committed themselves to provide one billion vaccines to Southeast Asia. “Our Quad partnership is on track to help produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid vaccines in India for the Asia region by the end of 2022,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference. ` She said so far the United States has provided 110 million vaccines to the world.
“That is more than any other country has shared combined. We also made clear that is the beginning and we also started to donate the 500 million doses of Pfizer we’ve purchased. We will start to donate those later this month,” Psaki said. Asserting that the US has taken “far more” action at the global level than any other country, she urged the world community to step up.
“We saw some action at the G7. More needs to happen,” she said, adding that according to health experts, 11 billion doses are still required. “So, I think our effort is going to be continuing to make this a front and centre discussion at global engagements meetings, whether it’s the UNGA or G20 or meetings we will have in future, because it is going to require all of the richest countries in the world, including the United States, to step up, to increase vaccine donations, to increase manufacturing capacity,” Psaki added. The United States, she asserted, can not only provide vaccines to its people but also donate to other countries as well.
“We believe we can do both. We also, in this country, have enough supply to ensure that every American has access to a vaccine. We will have enough supply to ensure if the FDA decides that boosters are recommended for a portion of the population, to provide those as well. We believe we can do both and we don’t need to make that choice,” she said.
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