PM Modi speaks to U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, appreciates efforts for vaccine supply to India

Mr. Modi also thanked the Vice President for all the support and solidarity from the U.S. government, businesses and the Indian diaspora

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke to the U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and expressed his appreciation for assurance of vaccine supplies to India as part of the U.S. 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, Mr. Modi said he also thanked Ms. Harris for all the support and solidarity from the U.S. 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 U.S. embassy also issued a statement from Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson for Ms. Harris on her calls with leaders of four countries, including Mr. 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 U.S. 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 U.S. government statement said.

Besides Mr. Modi, Ms. 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 Mr. Modi and Ms. Harris discussed ongoing efforts to strengthen the health supply chain between the U.S. 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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