On Wednesday, PM Modi arrived in Washington DC for a three days visit; he is supposed to have a one-to-one meeting with US president Joe Biden on 24th of September, as per sources. With Covaxin not yet approved by the WHO and the USA denying entry of Indian citizens jabbed with the same, PM Modi’s visit should serve as a basis for entry of all Indians inoculated with Covaxin.
In his video remarks at the Global COVID Summit on Wednesday, Prime Minister Modi said that “international travel should be made easier through mutual recognition of every country’s vaccine certificates.” Several countries have adopted different norms and regulations to allow entry into their territories, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This should be based on mutual consensus and should not be discriminatory in nature.
PM Modi’s meeting with US president Joe Biden is expected to last for one hour, as per sources. The duo of leaders is supposed to review the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and exchange views on issues of mutual interest such as the situation in Afghanistan and the need to curb terrorism. Indians have high hopes on PM Modi to serve as a gateway for other Indians vaccinated with Covaxin to be approved and accepted by the US.
PM Modi is vaccinated with Covaxin. Now, he will be travelling to the US. MEA and Bharat Biotech should apply full strength and ensure PM Modi's visit is not an exception but a basis for entry of all Indians inoculated with Covaxin.
— Shubhangi Sharma (@ItsShubhangi) September 22, 2021
Modi at Global COVID-19 summit
Modi appealed to the western countries to change their approach towards Indian vaccines in the Global COVID Summit, hosted by US President Joe Biden. PM Modi also talked about the significant increase in the production capacity of existing vaccines in India, and suggested that the supply chains of raw materials must be open so that vaccine supplies to other countries can be resumed.
“We also need to focus on addressing the pandemic’s economic effects. To that end, international travel should be made easier, through mutual recognition of vaccine certificates,” Modi added.
Modi’s remarks come after the UK government had issued an updated international travel advisory to include AstraZeneca Covishield among the list of eligible Covid-19 vaccine formulations, but kept India out of the “18 countries on an approved vaccinations list”, requiring Indians to follow rules set out for “non-vaccinated” travellers, even if they are vaccinated.
Modi further talked about India’s vaccination campaign, which is the largest in the world. He also stressed how India had vaccinated about 25 million people on a single day and that over 200 million Indians are fully vaccinated, as of now.
India is now running the world’s largest vaccination campaign.
Recently, we vaccinated about 25 million people on a single day.
Our grassroots level healthcare system has delivered over 800 million vaccine doses so far.
Over 200 million Indians are now fully vaccinated: PM pic.twitter.com/PiOlt256sU
— Prasar Bharati News Services पी.बी.एन.एस. (@PBNS_India) September 23, 2021
Covaxin not approved by the WHO
Bharat Biotech’s India-made vaccine Covaxin for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) was not accepted and was even denied approval for emergency use in the United States by the country’s top public health regulator – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA demanded for more data on the clinical trials of the vaccine, the complete extent of which, was still lacking at the time. Indian authorities had been facing criticism for not sharing Covaxin’s Phase-3 trial data, despite it being approved by India’s top drug regulator – the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). However, on July 3 this year, Bharat Biotech did release Covaxin‘s Phase-3 trial data claiming an efficacy of 77.8%.
Covishield is currently the only India-made vaccine that is in FDA’s list of approved vaccines.
Western countries discriminatory approach towards India
Flavoured with a racist overtone, the United Kingdom themselves admitted they had an issue with the unprecedented pace of India’s technological advancement.
The mere thought of every Indian having a unique Covid-19 vaccine QR code is mind-boggling for the UK, so it seems, and puts the ‘Western democracies’ to shame. The tone of rejection is obvious – it’s racist and discriminatory. The Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed India as a country that is destined to lead the world.
India is considered an underdeveloped and overpopulated third-world country by the West. When it comes to granting recognition to Indian vaccines, the underlying insecurity of Western nations compels them to restrict Indians, as India’s giant technological advancement becomes a pill too hard for the Western countries to swallow. For the United Kingdom, it becomes an underlying ego issue, since they were the colonial rulers who dominated Indians for 75 years; they are far away from accepting India’s technological stride, which can overpower them.
PM Modi is an Indian citizen vaccinated with Covaxin to set foot on US soil, but he definitely should not be an exception. His visit should serve as a basis of entry for all Indians jabbed with Covaxin into the US, and the Indians back home have high hopes on him, regarding the same.