Washington: India is an important manufacturer of vaccines for the world, the White House said, acknowledging the crucial role the country played in supplying vaccines against COVID-19 globally. “Because of its incredible manufacturing capacity, (India) has been a major exporter of vaccines,” Dr Ashish Jha, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, told reporters at a news conference here on Tuesday (October 25). Responding to a question, Dr Jha said the QUAD partnership – a strategic security dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the US — on coronavirus was important to the Joe Biden administration.
“I think India is an important manufacturer of vaccines for the world. I mean not just for India itself, this is a really important thing,” he said at the White House news conference.
Defending the Biden administration’s decision to supply vaccines to the world, Dr Jha said the US will continue making them available for every low and several low- and middle-income countries. He said,
There are about 100 countries that are eligible to get free vaccines through COVAX — where we donate the vaccines still available for donation.
According to Dr Jha, every major variant that hit the US originated from outside the country. He said,
So, the notion that we can somehow wall ourselves off and not be affected by what’s happening in the rest of the world is just naïve.
“It’s just not how transmissible viruses like this work. So even if you think about it from a very narrow self-interest, it’s very important that we get much of the world vaccinated, that we help build out the kind of vaccination program. But beyond self-interest, you know, America is a country that has deeply engaged in the world,” he added.
Dr Jha claimed that Biden had restored American leadership on global health in a way which is “very different from the previous President”.
“So, for a whole set of reasons, it’s very, very important that America continues to lead, €4.02 billion is a small investment to make to better protect Americans and better protect the world,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that 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 diarrhoea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.