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India, a true friend, using its pharma to help global community flight coronavirus: US

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New York, Jan 22: The Joe Biden-led US government has applauded India for sending supplies of COVID-19 vaccine to a host of South Asian nations, calling India "a true friend" who is using its pharmaceutical sector to help the global community.

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"We applaud India''s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India''s free shipments of vaccine began with Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and will extend to others. India''s a true friend using its pharma to help the global community," the US State Department's account for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs tweeted on Friday.

Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives have received India''s COVID-19 vaccines under grant assistance in sync with its "Neighbourhood First" policy.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to its frontline health workers across the country.

India has sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccine to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives, while over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were provided to Bangladesh and 1 million doses to Nepal.

In keeping with India''s stated commitment to use its vaccine production and delivery capacity to help all of humanity fight the COVID-19 pandemic, supplies under grant assistance to Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles began from January 20.

No COVID-19 vaccine request from Pakistan: India

Sri Lanka has approved emergency use India''s of Covishield vaccine which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Supply of immunisation doses to Afghanistan are pending approval from the host nation.

The Ministry of External Affairs has said, in an ongoing effort, India will continue to supply countries all over the world with vaccines.

"This will be calibrated against domestic requirements and international demand and obligations, including under GAVI's Covax facility to developing countries," the MEA had said in a statement.

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