Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday thanked United States vice-president Kamala Harris for “all the support and solidarity from the US government, businesses, and Indian diaspora”. Shortly after the US veep dialed up Prime Minister Modi and informed him about the United States’ global vaccine allocation plan, a post from the latter’s official Twitter handle expressed deep gratitude to the United States for the assurance of vaccine supplies to India.
“Spoke to Kamala Harris a short while ago. I deeply appreciate the assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the US Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing. I also thanked for all the support and solidarity from the US government, businesses, and Indian diaspora,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
In his phone call with Kamala Harris, Prime Minister Modi also discussed further ways to fortify the India-US vaccine cooperation, contribution to post-Covid global health, and economic turnaround. “We also discussed ongoing efforts to further strengthen India-US vaccine cooperation, and the potential of our partnership to contribute to post-Covid global health and economic recovery,” he added.
The US government will send 25 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the first time President Joe Biden’s administration has shared shots it could have used at home. Through the World Health Organization-backed Covax program, the US plans to distribute an initial 6 million shots to Central and South America, 7 million to Asia including hard-hit India and 5 million to Africa, the White House said in a statement.
US vice president Kamala Harris herself dialed up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him about the United States’ global allocation plan of the first 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. Apart from PM Modi, Harris also spoke to Mexico President Andres Manuel López Obrador, Guatemala President Alejandro Giammattei and Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley.
The White House reiterated on Thursday that it would send at least 80 million vaccines abroad by the end of June.
The move is a watershed moment for the US, which secured the first hundreds of millions of doses made on its soil for domestic use but intends to be an engine of vaccine production globally. As vaccine demand wanes at home, Biden is facing calls internationally to release the US stockpile of shots made by Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson in order to curb the rise of coronavirus variants.
(With inputs from agencies)