Pune, January 19, 2021: India is preparing to send 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to neighbouring country Bangladesh. At the same time, Pakistan is also expecting a Corona vaccine made in India. Pakistan is trying to get the vaccine made in India through direct communication with India or with the help of international allies.
Government officials in Bangladesh said that on Wednesday that a special flight would deliver 2 million doses of the Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune. The plane will land in Dhaka. The stock of vaccines will be handed over to the authorities in Bangladesh by the hands of the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka. There are more than five lakh cases of coronavirus in Bangladesh and so far more than 7,900 people have died due to corona in the country.
The Drug Controller of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved the emergency use of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s Corona vaccine. After that, Pakistan started an efforts to get this vaccine which is being produced in India. In Pakistan, more than five lakh people are affected with coronavirus and more than 11,000 people have died due to corona.
According to media reports, Islamabad is trying to get the Indian vaccine through COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are also considering to give vaccine from India to Pakistan. COVAX will provide free vaccinations to 20 percent of the world’s population in 190 countries around the world. This includes Pakistan. The first supply of vaccines is expected to reach Pakistan through COVAX in the second quarter.
But even if COVAX will help Pakistan, the rest of the population in Pakistan will have to rely on the Serum Institute of India’s Covishield vaccine. This is likely to be discussed in both countries. Pakistan can buy the vaccine from India with the help of a third country. But if they do, they will have to pay more. Given the current economic situation in Pakistan, this option is not suitable for them.
A few weeks ago, a vaccine company in India approached the Pakistani government to supply vaccines. Relations between the two countries are not very good and the trade of many goods has been stopped. In any case, the role of both countries is to ensure that it does not affect the supply of essential commodities, which could benefit Pakistan in getting the vaccine. Trade between the two countries has been suspended since the Pulwama attack in 2019. After India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan also imposed trade restrictions.
According to officials in Delhi, the Pakistani government has not yet made an official request to the Indian government regarding the corona vaccine. However, if the two countries discuss the issue of vaccines, the dialogue between the two countries is expected to start.
Pakistan’s DRAP has officially registered the vaccine and allowed its use as the effectiveness of Covishield is up to 90 percent. But now Pakistan is facing the question of how to get this vaccine.
In other words, Pakistan wants a Made in Pune vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India, but how to make a demand from India is still a question for Pakistan.