The Ministry of External Affairs announced on Tuesday that the Centre has agreed to supply domestically manufactured COVID-19 vaccines to neighbouring and key partner countries from January 20, 2021, onwards.
Countries including Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles will be the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine shipments out of India. India is currently waiting for drug regulatory clearances from Mauritius, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka before it starts sending vaccines to these countries as well.
"The Government of India has received several requests for the supply of Indian manufactured vaccines from neighbouring and key partner countries," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
MEA has stated that the country will continue to supply COVID-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will be ensured that domestic manufacturers have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad, it added.
"This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI's COVAX facility to developing countries," MEA said.
The government is planning to conduct a training programme prior to the delivery of the vaccines. The training will cover administrative and operational aspects. The training would be provided to immunisation managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.
India has also provided training to several neighbouring countries for enhancing and strengthening their clinical capabilities, under the Partnerships for Accelerating Clinical Trials (PACT) programme.