India will export 8 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs by the end of October after ending its ban on sending doses abroad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to resume exports at a meeting of leaders from the so-called Quad in Washington as India, Japan, Australia, and the US try to counter growing Chinese influence across the Asia-Pacific region.
Foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told reporters that most of the 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine will be sent to Asia-Pacific countries.
He said, “This would be ready by the end of October. This is an immediate delivery, from the Quad into the Indo-Pacific region.”
India is one of the world’s biggest vaccine producers and had pledged earlier this year to export one billion COVID-19 jabs by December 2022.
But New Delhi halted exports in May after a devastating coronavirus wave ravaged the country.
India lifted its vaccine export ban this week with new COVID-19 infections and deaths slowing down.
The country suffered weeks of vaccine shortages as a coronavirus surge between March and May killed at least 250,000 and infected tens of millions of people.