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US plan for Covid-19 vaccines: India’s share unlikely to go past 20 lakh

More than two weeks after the US announced plan for the first 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to be shared with the world, the Joe Biden administration on Monday announced distribution of the remaining 55 million of total 80 million doses.

Of 55 million doses, 16 million will be given to Asia under the Covax facility. India has been named as one of the 18 countries which will get a share from these 16 million doses.

While the exact allocation for India has not been spelt out yet, the country is likely to get not more than 1 million or 2 million doses in the second tranche of the 55 million doses, according to initial estimates. In the first tranche of 25 million, India is expected to get about 2 million to 3 million doses.

This puts India’s total allocation at 3 to 5 million doses, according to estimates. This is below the country’s daily doses being administered on a single day — on Monday, more than 8.2 million (82 lakh) doses were administered under the new vaccine policy.

The White House also said, “In addition, the U.S. is committed to expanding local production of vaccines, and through our Quad partnership and the International Development Finance Corporation’s support for vaccine manufacturing, more than 1 billion doses will be produced in Africa and India in 2021 and 2022.”

The White House also said that in addition to sharing doses from its own vaccine supply, the US is committed to working with American manufacturers to produce more vaccines to share with the world. To that end, ahead of the G7, President Biden announced that the US will purchase half-a-billion Pfizer doses and donate them to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and members of the African Union. In total, the G7+ agreed to provide an additional more than 1 billion doses starting summer 2021.

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