The USA Defends Export Ban On Covid-19 Vaccine Raw Material to India “Americans First”
India faces a huge increase in COVID-19 infections. On Friday, the country added more than 3,32 lakh new cases of coronavirus to the country’s list of 162,63,695 cases in a single day while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark.
Washington: Washington In defiance of US export restrictions on key raw materials for the manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines that threaten slowing India’s vaccination route, a senior official in the US Department said it was the first duty for the Biden administration to take care of the American people’s demands.
When asked if India’s Biden Administration will decide on the request to lift the vaccine raw material export ban, state department spokesman Ned Price said: “the United States is first and foremost involved in an ambitious and fruitful campaign to vaccinate the Americans.”
“This movement is well underway, and for a number of reasons, we are doing so. First of all, we have a special obligation to the Americans. Secondly, the American people, more than 550,000 deaths and tens of millions of infections in this country alone were affected more than any other country in the world, “On Thursday, he said.
“The vaccination of Americans is not only in the US interest; it is also in the interest of the rest of the world to see Americans vaccinated,” he said.
“The argument made repeatedly by State Secretary Antony Blinken is that, as long as the virus is circulating around the world, it is a danger to the public. As long as the virus in this country spreads unchecked, it can mutate and fly beyond our borders. In turn, this poses a challenge far beyond the United States, “In replies to questions, Mr Price said.
As for the rest of the country, “We still will do as best as we can, of course, in accordance with our first duty,” he said.
India faces a huge increase in COVID-19 infections at the moment. In one day, the country added on Friday a record of 3,32 lakh new coronavirus cases taking 1,62,63,695 tally, while active cases crossed the mark of 24 lakhs.
Recently, the Biden administration informed New Delhi of the pharmaceutical requirements of India and agreed to take due consideration of the matter.
It has been noted that the current difficulties in exporting critical raw materials required to produce COVID-19 vaccines are due mainly to an Act that forces American companies to give domestic priority to consumption.
President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump have called for a war-time Defence-Production Act (DPA), which allows American companies to prioritise COVID-19 vaccines and domestic personal protection equipment to fight the fatal pandemic in America, the worst-hit country.
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The US has increased the volume, mainly through Pfizer and Moderna, of COVID-19 vaccines to achieve its target of vaccinating its entire population by 4 July.
The suppliers of their internationally demanded raw materials, wanted by leading Indian manufacturers, are forced to supply them to domestic manufacturers in the US only.
The Serum Institute in India is the largest COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer in the world.
The India Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, took over the issue with the officials of the Biden administration in recent weeks.
The two top diplomats addressed the coronavirus-pandemic and how it could be dealt with during the phone conversation between US Secretary of State Blinken and Foreign Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
A spokesperson for the State Department Price said the U.S. has played a leading role in suppressing the virus outside of its borders.
“On the first day, we re-engaged the USD 2 billion we contributed to COVAX with another 2 billion. In terms of the credit arrangements with Canada and Mexico for our own hemisphere as well as in relation to India, the Quad and the Quad agreement, including to raise production capacity in India, “He said.
“As we are more secure here at home, as we are assured that we can handle any contingencies, I hope we can do more,” he said.