Narendra Modi speaks to Kamala Harris, appreciates US assurance for COVID-19 vaccine supply to India

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to the US Vice President Kamala Harris and expressed his appreciation for assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the US Strategy for Global Vaccine Sharing, under which India is expected to get the first batch of doses by the month-end.

In a series of tweets, Modi said he also thanked Harris for all the support and solidarity from the US government, businesses and the Indian diaspora.

"We also discussed ongoing efforts to further strengthen India-US vaccine cooperation & potential of our partnership to contribute to post-Covid global health, economic recovery," he said.

The US embassy also issued a statement from Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Harris on her calls with leaders of four countries, including Modi, on the global allocation plan for the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine doses to India and other countries by the month-end.

In the four separate calls, she said that the US will begin sharing the first 25 million (2.5 crore) doses of COVID-19 vaccines to their respective countries and others, as part of the Biden-Harris administration''s framework for sharing at least 80 million (8 crore) vaccines globally by the end of June.

She reiterated that the administration''s efforts are focused on achieving a broad global coverage, responding to surges and other urgent situations and public health needs, and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines.

The four leaders thanked the vice president, and they agreed to continue working together to address COVID-19 and advance our mutual interests around the world, the US government statement said.

Besides Modi, Harris spoke to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico, President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the statement added.

Officials here said that Modi and Harris discussed ongoing efforts to strengthen the health supply chain between the US and India, including in the area of vaccine manufacturing. They highlighted the potential of the India-US partnership as well as the QUAD vaccine initiative in addressing the long-term health impact of the pandemic.

The prime minister also said he hopes to welcome Vice President Harris in India soon after normalisation of the global health situation.


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