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Equitable Access To COVID-19 Vaccine Critically Important To Fight Pandemic, India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ Trying To Ensure Access To All: External Affairs Minister

In an interactive session at the opening day of the Raisina Dialogue, which is being held virtually, External Affairs Minister said that India’s ‘vaccine maitri’ approach was trying to ensure no one gets left behind in taking the COVID-19 vaccine jab

Equitable Access To COVID-19 Vaccine Critically Important To Fight Pandemic, India's 'Vaccine Maitri' Trying To Ensure Access To All: External Affairs Minister
Highlights
  • We all know that no one will be safe till everyone is safe: Minister
  • There is a need for ensuring equitable vaccination access: EAM
  • India can play a crucial role in helping smaller countries get vaccine: EAM

New Delhi: Asserting that health security was now integral to national security, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday (April 13) said there is a need for ensuring equitable access to coronavirus vaccines across the world as no one will be safe till everyone is safe and that the access to vaccines can be ensured by ramping up its production, including in countries like India. In an interactive session at the opening day of the Raisina Dialogue, which is being held virtually, Mr. Jaishankar also said that India’s ‘vaccine maitri’ approach was trying to ensure no one gets left behind.

Also Read: Centre Fast Tracks Emergency Approvals For Foreign-Produced COVID-19 Vaccines

At the same time, there was nothing unusual in the tendency by countries across the globe to look at their own requirements, the minister said, and added that there was a need for a larger approach in dealing with the matter considering the difficulties being faced by smaller countries.

Underlining that in diplomacy today, doing good is being smart, the minister said ‘vaccine maitri’ reflects the larger outlook of ‘Vaisudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is one family), asserting that health security is now integral to national security.

I think equitable access (to vaccines) is critically important in this. Because we all know that no one will be safe till everyone is safe, Mr. Jaishankar said when asked to comment on the global approach in dealing with the crisis.

Mr. Jaishankar also touched upon India’s handling of the pandemic, its strength in the medical sector and the way it extended help to various countries including in African continent to help them deal with the pandemic.

Also Read: Ward Level Committees To Be Strengthened In Kerala, More Restrictions To Be Put To ‘Crush COVID-19 Curve’

In our case, our vaccine producers had some contractual commitments; they have commitments to COVAX, he added.

COVAX, officially known as the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, is a global collaboration for speeding up the development, manufacture and equitable distribution of new vaccines. Talking about the challenges being faced by smaller countries to deal with the pandemic, he said they do not have the wherewithal to access the market and that countries like India can play a crucial role.

I think part of India’s rise would be really to demonstrate our capabilities and I think the world will be better served by these additional capabilities. Capabilities which are in the hands of the country which embraces the world, which believes in international cooperation, he said, referring to vaccine production.

He said health security is emerging as a priority area for cooperation and India can play an important role in it.

I think in a way today, India is the laboratory… It is certainly an additional capability. We hope in many cases it is a good partner. I think it is also important we tell our own story effectively so that people really understand what is going on, he said.

Mr. Jaishankar also talked about the geo-political power play, and said every rising power is unique.

I would like to be an enlightened power which does not do what all the others did before me; which is to shut the door as soon as you enter the room. I would like to make sure that the door is open for other powers to come in, he said.

The external affairs minister said the world will not be a multipolar one until the rise of Africa. Organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a think-tank, in partnership with the MEA, Raisina Dialogue is India’s premier conference on geopolitics and geo-economics, and its sixth edition is being held from April 13 to 16.

Also Read: India To Have Five More COVID Vaccines By October, Sputnik V Expected To Get Emergency Use Nod In 10 Days

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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