India’s covid vaccine supplies on Wednesday reached the Caribbean with Barbados getting one lakh doses of it and Dominica getting 70,000. The leadership of the country was quick to appreciate India’s gesture.
Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit expressed his “heartfelt thanks and appreciation” to “PM Modi, his govt and citizens of India” for sending covid vaccine supplies. He said, “I must confess I did not imagine that the prayers of my country would have been answered so swiftly. Being the leader of a small Caribbean Island with a population of 72,000 people I did not fancy my chances of getting such a swift and positive response to my request from India’s PM Narendra Modi.”
Elaborating, “One would have thought and understood that in a global pandemic such as this, a nation’s size and might would have been the primary consideration, but it is to the credit of PM Modi, that our request was considered on merit and the equality of our people was recognized.”
Barbados’s PM Mia Amor Mottley tweeted, “India’s gift of 100,000 COVID-19 vaccines arrived Barbados earlier today. This was a very special moment for all Barbadians and I want to thank Prime Minister Modi for his quick, decisive, and magnanimous action in allowing us to be the beneficiary of these vaccines.”
Meanwhile, Nicaragua and Mexico in the same region will also soon get India-made vaccines. Indian envoy to Mexico Manpreet Vohra announced, “To assist Mexico’s fight against the covid pandemic, I am delighted to confirm that 500,000 Made-in-India vaccines are scheduled to reach here on Sunday”
Expectedly more consignments will be sent from India. While Sunday’s amount is the first such consignment, a much larger amount will be shipped to Mexico in March. In total, 2 million doses of vaccine will be going from India to Mexico.
Speaking to WION on the development, Mexican envoy Federico Salas said, “We are very pleased to work with India to address this very important issue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”
India has so far sent vaccine supplies to around 20 countries, both as gifts and commercially. These are Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Brazil, Morocco, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Algeria, Kuwait, South Africa, Afghanistan, Dominica, Barbados. In the coming weeks, India made vaccines are scheduled to reach Pacific Island States, Mongolia, etc.
60% of global vaccines are produced by India, and apart from COVID vaccines, India is the largest supplier of DPT, BCG and measles vaccines. The world health organization sources 70% of its vaccine needs from India. Last year, amid the pandemic New Delhi sent assistance in the form of medicines and medical equipment to over 150 countries, including grants-in-aid valued at around Rupees 80 crore to 82 countries.