After a pressure mounted on President Joe Biden administration to allow export of key raw materials for the manufacture of Covid-19 vaccine to India which is witnessing a massive spike in coronavirus cases, the United States has finally agreed to supply materials for the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) to boost the production of Covishield vaccine.
Along with the raw materials to SII, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, the United States will deploy additional support to India and its health care heroes to combat the Covid-19 situation.
Biden administration’s top medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci had told ABC’s This Week that several measures are being considered, including sending over oxygen supplies, Covid-19 tests, drug treatments and personal protective equipment to India. Fauci said on Sunday that the US would review how to help increase India’s vaccine supply, such as by sending them doses or helping them to essentially make vaccines themselves.
Here are the key highlights:
1. The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for Indian manufacture of Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India.
2. To help treat Covid-19 patients and protect front-line health workers in India, the United States has identified supplies of therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that will immediately be made available for India.
3. The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.
4. The US Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is funding a substantial expansion of manufacturing capability for BioE, the vaccine manufacturer in India, enabling BioE to ramp up to produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2022.
5. Additionally, the United States is deploying an expert team of public health advisors from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USAID to work in close collaboration with the US Embassy, India’s health ministries, and India’s Epidemic Intelligence Service staff.