India, Australia working side by side to expand vaccine access across Indo-Pacific: Aus PM Morrison
Melbourne, Oct 22: India and Australia are working side by side in the Quad grouping to expand vaccine access across the Indo-Pacific, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday as he wished his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and his government after India achieved the milestone of administering 100 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses.
India scripted history on Thursday with the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassing the 100-crore milestone. "Congratulations to my friend @narendramodi and his government for administering 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. A huge achievement. India and Australia are working side by side in the Quad to expand vaccine access across the Indo-Pacific," Morrison tweeted.
Modi also thanked his "friend" Morrison for his wishes on India achieving the Vaccine Century and congratulated him "for achieving high vaccination target in Australia". Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne also congratulated India for administering one billion vaccine doses. "Australia and India are working more closely than ever to fight COVID-19 by providing safe, equitable vaccine access in the Indo-Pacific. Congratulations to our close friends in India for administering a remarkable 1 billion vaccine doses," she tweeted.
According to official sources in New Delhi, over 75 per cent of India's all eligible adult population has been administered at least the first dose and around 31 per cent has received both the doses of the vaccine. 'Quad' is a four-nation bloc comprising Australia, India, Japan and the United States. On September 24, US President Joe Biden hosted the first-ever in-person summit of Quad leaders at the White House.
At Biden's invitation, Modi, Morrison and then Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga had attended the Quad summit. After the conclusion of the summit, the Quad leaders in a joint statement had said that in addition to doses financed through COVAX, the four-nation bloc has pledged to donate more than 1.2 billion doses globally of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and has so far delivered nearly 79 million safe, effective, and quality-assured vaccine doses to countries in the Indo-Pacific as part of those commitments. PTI