Biden is pressuring India to export vaccines in order to slow the global spread of COVID.
According to a senior administration official, the Biden administration is in talks with the Indian government regarding when the latter will resume COVID-19 vaccine exports.
According to Axios, there are also plans to give Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a higher-profile position at the global conference in New York on September 24 if he agrees to release vaccines fast.
Though administration officials admitted that vaccine exports are being discussed, they denied that they are linked to Modi’s planned involvement.
“We have been communicating with the government of India on a regular basis in bilateral and multilateral channels to discuss vaccine supply and inquire about the timeline for exports, and these conversations are not tied to a specific summit or engagement,” a US official told Axios on the condition of anonymity.
Before banning exports in the middle of April, India, which is considered as a worldwide vaccination hub, had donated or sold at least 66 million doses of its AstraZeneca vaccine to over 100 nations. This came after a terrible second wave caused havoc in the country.
However, since April, the country’s vaccine output has doubled, and is expected to do so again in the coming weeks. Though it is assumed that exports will restart because half of India’s adult population has received at least one vaccination, the Indian government has yet to issue an official statement.
According to the paper, persuading Modi to resume exports is an essential aspect of the Biden administration’s virus-control plan, because the virus’s unrestrained propagation eventually develops more hazardous varieties.
Though the U.S. has also reserved hundreds of millions of doses for boosters, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has hinted that the President will make some new announcements ahead of the summit, which will see the participation of the leaders of the ‘Quad’ countries – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States.
However, according to Axios, Biden advisers have opted against “strong-arming Modi by basing his participation on his willingness to release vaccines,” as they recognize that vaccine diplomacy with the Indians is a difficult matter.
Last year, the Trump administration coerced India into easing a prohibition on hydroxychloroquine shipments. After the outbreak spread, India prohibited all exports of the medicine, but Trump threatened “retaliation.” Trump then saw hydroxychloroquine, an old and inexpensive malaria medicine, as a promising therapy alternative for coronavirus.
However, India has imposed a prohibition on vaccination exports. Brief News from Washington Newsday.