Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for shipping over 500 thousand 'Made in India' COVISHIELD vaccines to the nation lauding India for 'generously and selflessly' assisting the Caribbean in their fight against COVID-19. Taking to Twitter to thank India, Prime Minister Gaston Browne also shared an image of him and PM Modi from the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting where the two nation-heads had last interacted with each other.
Thanking PM Modi for the 500K AstraZeneca vaccines that he generously and selflessly shared with the Caribbean to assist in the fight against COVID.— OPMAntiguaBarbuda (@AntiguaOpm) March 1, 2021
📸circa 2019.@PMOIndia @IndiainGuyana @drkjsrini pic.twitter.com/mrx4Dcl8z9
As a part of its vaccine diplomacy, India on Monday shipped half a million COVID-19 vaccines destined for over 4 Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) countries and Suriname. Sharing the development on Twitter, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that the move came as part of India's commitment to the Caribbean Community.
#MadeinIndia COVISHIELD vaccines destined for 4OECS countries+Suriname received by @AntiguaOpm Gaston Browne & HC @drkjsrini in #Antigua, in keeping with India's determination to help countries fight pandemic#VaccineMaitri@gastonbrowne @ABMinistryFA @CARICOMorg @oecscommission https://t.co/CokNMIccFy— India in Guyana (@IndiainGuyana) March 1, 2021
Keeping our CARICOM commitment.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) March 1, 2021
Made in India vaccines arrive at Antigua for Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines and Suriname. pic.twitter.com/qfabgZfcfx
Emphasizing its 'neighbourhood first' policy, India began sending millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccines as grants to friendly to SAARC member nations, after its two vaccines were approved by the DGCI. To date, India has supplied it's 'Made in India' vaccines to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Mauritius.
Later, the nation broadened its ambit by supplying vaccines to distant countries with friendly ties such as Brazil, Ghana and several other nations in the Caribbean and the Middle East.
The nation has also won global praise for its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme which aims to aid poor countries amidst the global pandemic. WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has also personally expressed his gratified to Prime Minister Modi and India for sharing the COVID-19 vaccines remarking how its commitment was helping more than 60 countries to start vaccinating their health workers and other priority groups.
PM Modi has responded to the WHO chief saying-- "We are all together in the fight against this pandemic" and that India is committed to sharing resources, experiences, and knowledge for global good. The nation has also vowed to supply 2,00,000 doses of vaccines to the United Nations for vaccinating the peacekeepers, which has also gained the appraisal of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.