The United States plans to send excess COVID-19 vaccine doses and experts to India, a country that has recently been overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus infection rates, according to National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. will consider sending surplus AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which have not yet been approved for emergency use authorization, to India.
Britain announced that it will ship ventilators to India, and the E.U. will offer oxygen and other supplies.
This news comes after critics attacked the U.S. and other wealthy countries for hoarding vaccine supplies while poorer nations struggle to fight the virus.
Sullivan also said that the U.S. will help India manufacture Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made in India, as well as therapeutics, rapid diagnostic test kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment.
“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, the United States is determined to help India in its time of need,” said National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne. “The United States also is pursuing options to provide oxygen generation and related supplies on an urgent basis.”
In order to expedite the vaccine manufacturing process, Sullivan said that the U.S. Development Finance Corp. will support a “substantial expansion” for vaccine production, with the goal of reaching one billion doses by 2023.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and USAID experts are also on their way to India to help with COVID-19 relief efforts.