US to provide vaccine raw materials to India

The US said on Sunday it will provide India raw materials urgently needed for making the Covishield vaccine and supply equipment such as ventilators and oxygen generation gear to support the country’s response to a massive surge in Covid-19 cases.

The pledge, made by US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during a phone conversation with his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval, came against the backdrop of calls from lawmakers and businesses for the Biden administration to do more and criticism from some quarters for what is being seen as Washington’s lethargic reaction. The United States has identified sources of specific raw material urgently required for the Indian manufacture of the Covishield vaccine that will immediately be made available for India. This includes exploring the possibility of inducting US Army battlefield oxygen generators. The European Union (EU) too has activated a civil protection mechanism to provide urgent assistance to India including oxygen supplies while the UK will airlift hundreds of oxygen concentrators.

The EU and Germany too said on Sunday they were mobilising aid to support India, while the UK announced it was sending more than 600 pieces of medical equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrator devices. The first package from Britain will arrive in New Delhi on Tuesday, with further shipments later in the week.