Indian-American bodies start online campaign demanding US rush vaccines to India

Saying this is "not an Indian crisis, but a global one", a host of Indian-American organizations have started a joint online signature campaign demanding US President Joe Biden’s administration rush vaccines to India and help the country build its own vaccine manufacturing capacity

May 25, 2021
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IMPACT Executive Director Neil Makhija

Saying this is "not an Indian crisis, but a global one", a host of Indian-American organizations have started a joint online signature campaign demanding US President Joe Biden’s administration rush vaccines to India and help the country build its own vaccine manufacturing capacity.

The public #SendIndiaVaccines campaign has been launched by US’s leading Indian American civic and political organization IMPACT in partnership with a coalition of groups including Indiaspora, Pratham USA, NAAIS and SAAPRI.

“This week, India reported the highest single daily death toll of any country during the pandemic, while experts say the United States is sitting on a surplus of nearly 100 million vaccines.

“The Biden administration needs to act immediately to send these lifesaving vaccines to India and take steps to end the pandemic globally. We can’t afford to wait any longer,” said IMPACT Executive Director Neil Makhija.

While the Biden administration has taken a first step by sending aid to India and committing to share the vaccines globally, Makhija said the response has to be proportional to the scale of the crisis.

“This is not an Indian crisis, but a global one. To bring this pandemic to an end, the United States must lead the way in expanding vaccine supplies in India and the rest of the world.”

“The Biden-(vice president Kamala) Harris the administration must commit to both sending surplus, unused vaccines abroad and helping countries like India build their local manufacturing capacity,” he said.

The surge has crippled India’s healthcare infrastructure, with hospitals running out of oxygen, beds, and PPE. India is only the third country to touch 300,000 official deaths.

He said with domestic supply significantly outpacing demand, millions of unused COVID vaccines are set to expire in the United States.

“We applaud President Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will share 80M vaccine doses with the rest of the world by the end of June. But, we must do more,” he said.

By summer, the United States will have 300 million extra vaccine doses.

Sending surplus vaccines immediately to augment India’s manufacturing capacities in Pune, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad would enable the country to resume producing and exporting vaccines for the world at the scale at which it is capable, he said. 

“Vaccines must also be coupled with increased emergency aid. The Biden administration has thankfully committed to providing supplies worth USD 100 million to India.

“But this investment is neither proportional to what it has contributed to other countries or even meeting the scale of what has been contributed by private philanthropy,” said Makhija.

(SAM)

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