Today, 150,000 made in India COVISHIELD vaccine for Covid-19 has arrived in Serbia. President of Serbia H.E. Mr. Aleksandar Vučić received the vaccines at the Nikola Tesla airport, Belgrade. Serbian Minister of Health H.E. Mr. Zlatibor Lončar was also present at the airport. President Vučić underlined that these vaccines are very important for Serbia and thanked Indian Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar for supply of vaccines.
India and Serbia enjoy traditionally deep relationship. Supply of vaccines from India for friendly people of Serbia adds another chapter to our close relationship. Serbia is the first country in this region to receive made in India vaccine.
The supply of vaccines by India to our friendly countries fulfills the commitment made by Prime Minister Modi in 2020. In his address at the Global Vaccine Summit in June 2020, he said “India not only has the capacity to contribute to the global health efforts, but also has the will to do so in a spirit of sharing and caring.” At the United Nations General Assembly in September 2020, he said “India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis.” It is in keeping with this commitment that India has supplied vaccines to Serbia and other countries even though India has its own large requirement.
AstraZeneca’s developed Covishield vaccine coming to Serbia has been manufactured by Serum Institute of India, which is the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world. Supply of vaccines to Serbia was finalized after discussions between the Governments of our two countries.
There are also other Indian companies which are at advance stage of developing new vaccines in India. Hence, India would be providing more options to the world for fighting Covid-19 pandemic.
Recently, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated that “India’s vaccine production capacity is one of the best assets the world has today.” He applauded India for supplying Covid-19 doses to nations around the world to combat the catastrophic global health crisis. India is referred to as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’. India produces 60% of global vaccines and supply 1.5 billion doses annually to more than 150 countries.
India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets as well as diagnostic kits, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries during the Covid-19 Pandemic. India also supplied gloves and masks to Serbia in 2020.
India is committed to produce and deliver Covid-19 vaccine in large quantity to help the humanity fight pandemic.