By Joseph Erunke – Abuja
India has donated 100,000 doses of COVISHIELD vaccines to Nigeria.
A statement by the Indian High Commission in Nigeria on Tuesday evening said the shipment was delivered to the country via the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
The statement read in full: “These 100,000 vaccine doses, manufactured at the Serum Institute of India in Pune, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturing facility, arrived on March 26, 2021 at 1200 o’clock from Mumbai via Addis Ababa at Abuja Airport.
“The broadcast was delivered to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) by the High Commission of India.
“The Covishield vaccine manufactured at the Serum Institute of India is the first COVID-19 vaccine approved by NAFDAC, Nigeria.
The first batch of 3.92 million vaccine doses under COVAX had arrived in Nigeria on March 2, 2021.
“The bilateral donation of 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines is in line with the announcement made by the then Indian High Commissioner.
On that occasion, High Commissioner Abhay Thakur stated that the delivery of vaccines to Ngerien was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to India’s vaccine at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020
Production and delivery capacities are used to support humanity in the fight against Covid-19.
He added that these Made in India vaccine shipments to Nigeria are in line with India’s long, centuries-old and tried-and-tested relationships with Nigeria based on close friendship and deep mutual trust.
“India has been at the forefront of the global fight against the pandemic and supports a collective approach in that fight.
“Guided by this philosophy and as the world’s pharmacy, India, and as part of its ‘Vaccine Maitri’ (Maitri
means friendship), has shipped millions of vaccine doses to many countries around the world.
“By April 2, 2021, India had supplied 61.426 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 82 countries and will be shipping to other countries shortly.
“Despite the supply shortages and at a time when India’s 1.3 billion people have been given around 55 million vaccines and around 3 million daily vaccinations are carried out in India, their own needs are enormous, but India is still supplying vaccines around the world, far and wide.
“Almost 36.5% of all vaccines shipped worldwide as of mid-March were made in India.
“In addition to being a leading manufacturer of AstraZeneca vaccines and other vaccines such as Novavax and Sputnik, India has developed its own domestic vaccine, Covaxin, by Bharat Biotech, which is also highly effective and has been shipped to many countries.
“We look forward to the NAFDAC approval of Covaxin in due course and its delivery to African countries, both bilaterally and under various international agreements such as Covax and AVATT.
The Honorable Foreign Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, declared in the Indian Parliament on March 17, 2021, “Vaccine Maitri” began in India’s immediate neighborhood, followed by our extended neighborhood including the Gulf States and then immediately to needy and needy nations at risk in Africa and America.
“DR. Jaishankar had further stated,” As Indians, we are all inherently internationalist because of our culture, traditions, heritage and history.
“We have never seen a contradiction between internationalism and nationalism, which was the engine of our independence movement and the subsequent efforts to build our nation.
“Indeed, this experience has further strengthened our internationalism by creating a strong solidarity with other nations that have similarly fought for their freedom.
“In the last few years, when democracy took deep roots, we have found our own cultural expressions that define us in a diverse world.
“From this legacy we have become even stronger voices of international cooperation and solidarity.
“This is of course very much in demand in times of stress like the Covid pandemic.”
Vanguard News Nigeria