18:27 GMT17 June 2021
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    To ensure the availability of vaccines in those countries worst affected, the Biden administration will remove Defense Production Act priority ratings on the AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Sanofi vaccines.

    The US administration is set to remove Defense Production Act priority ratings on AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Sanofi vaccines. The move will help vaccine companies more quickly decide to whom they want to sell their vaccines.

    "We have secured enough vaccine supply for all Americans. This is a direct result of the president taking aggressive action, including through the use of the Defense Production Act, to mobilise the full force of US vaccine manufacturing and production," White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients told reporters during a virtual news conference.

    Zients also said that the move will allow US-based manufacturers to make their own decision on which orders to fulfill first.

    The US State Department on Thursday said that increased manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in India has the potential to be a game-changer beyond that country's borders.

    Moreover, the US is set to allocate the first tranche of 25 million COVID-19 vaccines globally, to address potential surges and the needs of the worst affected countries, including India.

    Per media reports, of the 25 million jabs, approximately 7 million will be supplied to Asian countries including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

     

    India's ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, confirmed that Delhi will be a significant recipient of US vaccines.

    Substantive discussion with my old friend @Surgeon_General @vivek_murthy this afternoon. We discussed India – US cooperation to contain the global pandemic, including in vaccines, and potential collaborations to ensure affordable healthcare. pic.twitter.com/7zCRfuGJLM

    ​On Thursday, US Vice-President Kamala Harris personally called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inform him of the administration's decision.

    Last month, Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines were an important part of his discussions in the US, according to reports.

    India has registered 132,364 new cases and 2,713 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to India Health Ministry data on Friday. The total number of COVID cases has reached over 28.5 million (28,574,350) in the country, and the death toll stands at 340,702.

    Tags:
    vaccine, coronavirus, Kamala Harris, Narendra Modi, Joe Biden, United States
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