Vaccine Maitri

Vaccine Maitri is a Government of India sponsored programme to provide covid-19 vaccines to the countries in Global South who were in need of emergency healthcare assistance during covid-19 pandemic. It was part of India’s humanitarian assistance programme and commitment to extend assistance to the international community

Vaccine Maitri programme was launched in 20 January, 2021, after long awaited Indian vaccines, Covishield and Covaccine, were successfully tested. It is noteworthy that India countinued to export vaccines to other countries despite high demand of covid vaccines in India. Government of India faced severe criticism from opposition parties, for providing vaccines to other countries while millions of Indian were struggling to receive their first dose of vaccine. Soon after the launch of Vaccine Maitri, a second wave of covid-19 pandemic (Delta variant) caused great damage in Indian Healthcare system and thus government temporarily freeze Vaccine Maitri from March until September¬† in 2021. India’s vaccine diplomacy attracted much media attention and recieved appreciations from global south countries.

Neibourhood first policy

Eventhogh country was struggling to respond a second wave of pandemic called Delta Variant, it adopted a neighborhood first policy in its vaccine export and diplomacy. Bhutan became the first country to receive India’s vaccine consignment on 20th January, 2021 while another neighbor Maldives received another consignment of covid vaccine on the same day. On the next day, 21 January 2021, both Nepal and Bangladesh acknowledged the arrival of India’s vaccine. Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli received first jab of Indian vaccine. He got vaccinated at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH).

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