Increase in manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in India has the potential to be a game changer well beyond its borders, the Biden Administration said Thursday.
"It's important to us because India has suffered immensely from the outbreak. Virtually, no element of Indian society has been left untouched by this horrible scourge. That is why we have spoken of the focus on increased manufacturing in India," State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.
"The increased manufacturing capacity in India, the volume of capacity has the potential to be a game changer well beyond India's borders. And that's precisely why this arrangement was reached and announced in the context of the Quad," he said.
Early this year at the first virtual Quad summit composed of leaders from Australia, India, Japan and the United States, it was decided to work together to increase the COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity of India.
So far the United States has contributed USD500 million in COVID-19 assistance to India. This includes USD100 million from the government alone. The entire US government, including Secretary of State Tony Blinken, has led an effort to galvanise the private sector to chip in, he said.
“We have been really gratified to see that, together between the US government contributions as well as private sector contributions, we have seen some USD0.5 billion in support go to India in its time of need,” he said.
The Biden Administration on Thursday announced that it will send 25 million of its vaccines to other countries, including India.
“There remain some 55 million doses that the administration has committed to send abroad by the end of this month,” Price said, adding that the announcement in this regard could come in the coming weeks.