- India, one of the world’s largest drugmakers, has put curbs on exports of AstraZeneca to meet its domestic demand.
- Amid a shortage of covid drugs, countries grappling with the increasing number of deaths and infections have turned to China for vaccines.
- China already has supplied covid vaccines to over 80 countries.
China’s vaccine diplomacy has been gaining fruits as more and more countries are relying on it for covid drugs. China already has supplied covid vaccines to over 80 countries.
Following India’s curbs on vaccine exports and America’s focus on meeting its domestic demand for Covid-19 drugs, China is emerging as the largest provider of vaccines to the world.
Why has India stopped vaccine supplies to other countries?
To meet its domestic demand, India, one of the world’s largest drug manufacturers, has put curbs on exports of AstraZeneca, the vaccine being produced by the Serum Institute of India. India has recently witnessed a shortage of vaccines amid a surge in covid cases, forcing it to block exports. India had delivered over 49 million vaccines to 120 countries before the curbs.
Meanwhile, the US and the European Union have decided to inoculate their citizens first instead of rushing to the aid of the needy countries, a decision which some leaders have criticized.
Pic Credit: Pixabay.
Why are Chinese vaccines in demand?
Amid a shortage of covid drugs, countries grappling with the increasing number of deaths and infections have turned to China for vaccines. Brazil, the Philippines, Pakistan, and countries in Africa and Europe, such as Zimbabwe, Serbia, and Hungary, have placed orders for Chinese drugs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) was looking to India for supplies for its Covax initiative, which seeks to distribute covid vaccines equitably to needy countries. The global health organization is now looking to China for supplies. It plans to approve vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac.
According to the state-owned Sinopharm, it has delivered over 50 million vaccines to various countries so far and would ramp up its production capacity to one billion doses this year.
Pic Credit: Pixabay.
What is China’s vaccine diplomacy?
Although China has been providing free vaccines to many countries since it rolled out the shots, WHO’s clearance of its drugs would pave the way for their supplies to many more nations.
China hopes to build a close partnership with other countries, including its neighbours in South Asia, which are facing a new Covid wave, through its vaccine diplomacy. It is offering free covid aid, relaxation in drug procurement and support in vaccine production.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden’s administration has also decided to waive off intellectual property rights on Covid vaccines following demand from many countries, including India, where a second wave of the pandemic has overwhelmed the hospitals and medical facilities with patients.