India’s foreign minister pledged Sri Lanka’s president Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday to prioritize the country when Indian-produced COVID-19 vaccines are ready for export, the President Media Division (PMD) said.
Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar made the pledge when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa asked him for vaccines produced in India.
India’s drug regulator has approved two vaccines for emergency use for COVID-19 — one developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drug maker AstraZeneca, and another by the Indian manufacturer Bharat Biotech.
Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing company, has been contracted by AstraZeneca to make 1 billion doses for developing nations, including India. However, delivery of the vaccine outside India is likely to take a number of months.
COVID-19 cases have spiked in Sri Lanka in recent months. However, authorities have been undecided on a vaccine until last month.
Jaishankar is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka.