Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that India would be shipping vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius. The Ministry of External Affairs in its release said, "Keeping with India's stated commitment to use India's vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of the humanity fight the Covid pandemic, supplies under grant assistance... from 20 January 2021."
In the case of Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Mauritius, clearances are awaited. The vaccine shipments to the rest of the countries will begin today, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release. The MEA also clarified that any supply would be "calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations" as the focus would be on rolling out shipments of the vaccines in phases so that domestic need and production would not be affected.
"Prior to the delivery of vaccines, a training programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, is being conducted on 19-20 January 2021 for immunization managers, cold chain officers, communication officers and data managers of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels," the press release read.
India has already rolled out one of the world's largest vaccine drives with two domestic vaccines having received approval for mass administration, namely Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxine.