India is excluded from the list of beneficiaries announced by the UK government for 10 million vaccine donations to Asian and commonwealth nations.
“We've just seen the announcement by UK government about donation of 10 million vaccines to the commonwealth and Asian countries. That announcement doesn't cover India as far as I'm aware. But we're ascertaining more details. We'll certainly share updates as soon we have it," said the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi in a press briefing on Thursday, as per ANI report.
The UK will this week begin delivering COVID-19 vaccines around the world for lower-income countries to help tackle the pandemic, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had announced on Wednesday.
Five million doses are being offered to COVAX, the worldwide scheme to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, which will be urgently distributed through an allocation system which prioritises delivering vaccines to countries who most need them. Another 4 million doses will be shared directly, with Indonesia to receive 600,000 doses, Jamaica 300,000 and 817,000 for Kenya among the list of countries.
The doses being donated are the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca collaboration vaccine, made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, north Wales.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
This marks the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged the UK would share within the next year at last month's G-7 Summit in Cornwall, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of the year. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has said at least 80 million of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX, with the rest going to countries directly.
The UK has signed agreements with Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Cambodia, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand and Vietnam to receive up to 4 million doses. The vaccine doses being donated on a bilateral basis are being transported by Crown Agents, a not-for-profit international development company.[Inputs from PTI]