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Explained | Why the latest aid from US doesn't include COVID-19 vaccines or ingredients

After more than a week of frantic diplomatic talks, the Biden administration has decided to provide crucial medical help for India. Even though the US has identified specific sources of raw materials required for Indian manufacturers of Covishield, it doesn’t say which is the raw material and how much will be available.

April 26, 2021 / 03:57 PM IST
US President Joe Biden (File image: AP Photo)

US President Joe Biden (File image: AP Photo)

Late on Sunday, the United States promised to soon dispatch excess rapid testing kits, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), ventilators and key drugs to India.

The mega bilateral aid package will land even as the Biden administration continues to rebuff India's request for critical vaccine doses which the US currently stockpiles and bans the export of key chemical components needed for vaccine manufacturing. The US has also not clarified whether it will be able to provide Remdesivir doses, the demand for which has shot up over the past two weeks in India.

In an official statement, the White House announced that US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had spoken to his Indian counterpart, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and that the “United States is working round-the-clock to deploy available resources and supplies” to India.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) officials say this is not expected to be the last development on the matter as the second wave gains pace in India and the need for faster vaccination strengthens and both governments will continue to negotiate on critical help.