External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar
File Photo

Amid speculations over government permission for the export of 'Made in India' COVID-19 vaccines, External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Tuesday that there would be greater clarity on the issue within the next few weeks.

"We will get clarity pretty soon on what our own consumption is going got be, (what) deployments are going to be. And we will keep our global role very much.." Jaishankar told the Reuters Next conference.

He said that India understood the anxieties of foreign governments with regard to getting the vaccines delivered to their populations.

India is one of the biggest producers of vaccines and generic drugs in the world.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, India will send a limited quantity of COVID-19 vaccines to neighbouring countries for “emergency use authorisation” under the grant-in-aid programme but commercial supplies will only take place after the vaccines get market authorisation.

The supply to friendly neighbours will be approved after domestic roll-out on January 16, the report quoting sources said.

While there is no official word, the Union government is yet to approve the vaccines for export and they have been only granted restricted emergency use approval by the drug regulator.

The distribution of vaccines to different states began on Tuesday ahead of planned exercise on Jan 16.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.

According to reports, the SII was contracted to make one billion doses of the vaccine for developing nations while richer nations reserved most of the vaccines expected to be produced this year.

Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech had last week said they will work together to develop, manufacture and supply the COVID-19 vaccines in India and globally

In a joint statement on behalf of the two companies, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella announced their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the COVID-19 vaccines for India and the world.

They noted that the most important task in front of them was saving lives and livelihoods in India and globally.

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