May 14th India’s largest opposition Congress party questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the country’s vaccine policy, questioning his decision to prioritise the export of 60 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
India Today reported on May 15th that India’s Congress party asked Narendra Modi on the 14th why he did not use the “India First” approach to vaccinate the country’s citizens against the coronavirus. The Congress party also questioned why the government had exported 60m doses of the vaccine when india’s own people had not yet received it.
Congress party spokesman Shaktisin Gausher said at an online news conference on the 14th that the government should increase the transparency of vaccine policy, should give priority to Indian citizens to provide vaccines, rather than export to other countries.
“I would like to ask the Prime Minister, why can’t you adopt the ‘India First’ policy like the Americans?” Why do you export vaccines to other countries when India needs them most? Gohill said.
With a population of about 1.4 billion, India is one of the world’s largest producers of vaccines. To date, however, less than 2 per cent of the country’s population has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
India’s vaccine supply has been affected by a ban on U.S. exports of raw materials for vaccines, which has been threatened by a shutdown of vaccine production lines. At the same time, India had exported large quantities of vaccines before the outbreak, laying the risk of a shortage of vaccines.