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  20 Sep 2021, 19:00

India says Covid vaccine exports to restart in October

   NEW DELHI, Sept 20, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - India will resume exporting Covid-19 
vaccines from October, five months after it halted sending supplies overseas 
as it battled a deadly wave of infections, the health minister said Monday.

  The South Asian giant, dubbed the "pharmacy of the world", was a major 
supplier to the Covax programme aimed at boosting immunisation in poorer 
nations. 

  Exports stopped in April, according to foreign ministry data, when a virus 
surge in India pushed the healthcare system to breaking point and there was a 
huge demand for jabs.

  Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said more than 300 million vaccine doses 
would be produced in October and one billion in the last three months of the 
year.

  "India will be resuming export of vaccines... in order to fulfill the 
commitment of India towards Covax," Mandaviya said in a statement.

  "The surplus supply of vaccines will be used to fulfill our commitment 
towards the world for the collective fight against Covid-19."

  Launched in January, India's vaccination campaign was slow to take off 
because of shortages and hesitancy among the population.

  But the pace has picked up in recent weeks, with authorities currently 
administering between five to eight million coronavirus shots every day. 

  The country hit a record 22 million coronavirus jabs in a day on Friday as 
part of a special vaccination drive for the birthday of Prime Minister 
Narendra Modi.
 

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