US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Wednesday announced an additional $25 million in financial assistance from the US government to support India’s vaccination program. After delegation-level talks between the two sides, Blinken told a press briefing that the funding will help save lives by strengthening vaccine supply chains across India as the country is yet to reach a double-digit mark in the percentage of fully vaccinated individuals.
In his first trip to India, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the US government will partner with India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, as well as state governments to support vaccine supply chain logistics, to address misinformation and vaccine hesitancy, and train healthcare workers to deliver vaccines safely and effectively across India. At the media briefing after talks with Blinken, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar thanked the US for its “truly exceptional” support to India during the second wave of the pandemic and for keeping the supply chain for raw material open for vaccine production in India. The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will also collaborate with key stakeholders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the WHO, and GAVI to promote equitable vaccine delivery and strengthen pandemic preparedness. The latest funding through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is on top of more than $200 million worth of Covid-19 assistance announced by the US government. Blinken stressed that the two countries are determined to end the Covid-19 pandemic in India and the United States.