NEW DELHI — The government of Nepal has asked India for early provision of coronavirus vaccines even as New Delhi indicates that it may be some time before it starts meeting demands from abroad.
Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali made the request during the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission.
Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Brazil are among several countries looking to secure vaccine supplies from India, which has given clearance for the emergency use for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and another developed by the Indian company Bharat Biotech.
The spokesman for India’s External Affairs Ministry, Anurag Srivastava, said Thursday that it was too soon to comment on the country's ability to provide vaccines to other countries.
“We are still assessing production schedules and delivery, and we will take decisions in this regard in due course. This may take some time,” he said.
On Saturday, India is launching an immunization program aimed at vaccinating 300 million people — healthcare workers, frontline workers including police, and those considered vulnerable due to their age or other diseases — by August 2021.