India Sends Envoy To US To Show Seriousness Of Vaccine Procurement
The opposition is trying hard to corner the Centre over vaccine diplomacy. But moving towards cementing relations with the US over procurement of more vaccine doses for the country, the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has been cautious. He showed his controlled disapproval as he said categorically that he is going to indulge in ‘political politics.’ Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been openly accusing the Centre of having played vaccine politics and delayed supply to states that were in dire need.
In the middle of this political drama, New Delhi and Punjab have reportedly tried to contact American pharmaceutical manufacturers like Moderna and Pfizer directly to secure vaccine supply for their respective states. They were flatly refused to say that the companies were going to negotiate with the Union government only.
Currently, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar is visiting the United States to get into a discussion with Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets. He has reportedly met him already at the State Department.
Mr. Jaishankar’s response came to a question that was asked outside India to which his response promptly nipped the bud. Back home, the Congress leader accused the Centre of encouraging the Covid-19 vaccine to mutate by not administering vaccines in a timely manner.
With its capacity to the fullest, India is not being able to vaccine its population immediately. The break of the mutant was not something anyone had anticipated. The Centre is now trying to enter into an agreement with the US to import the US FDA-approved vaccines to India. Both Pfizer and Moderna have agreed to supply India over some pre-conditions.
Mr. Jaishankar has been clear in indicating that there is no pressure on the US to supply to India and that depending on what the administration decides, their vaccine could be made available. The Centre has sent him in order to ensure an official voice can be heard and that India could show its appreciation for the support that the US has offered India at times of crisis.
With the second wave hitting the country, and subsequent outbreaks of other epidemics, India is in dire need of an urgent supply of Covid-19 vaccine to prevent the wave from leading to a complete countrywide lockdown.