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Covid vaccine diplomacy leads to

Covid vaccine diplomacy leads to "undiplomatic" pushback

Covid vaccine diplomacy leads to undiplomatic pushback

On the 24th of January 2021, India donated millions of doses of 

the British-developed AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines being 

manufactured in the country to neighboring South Asian nations

in an unusual diplomatic initiative.

The vaccine diplomacy seeks to lift the global profile of New 

Delhi and fight back toward China, which in South Asia has 

increased its reach, analysts claim.

According to Sreeram Chaulia, Dean at the Jindal School of 

International Affairs, India wants to showcase itself as a world

leader and this move is about showing power and creating an


As the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines, India is set to 

be at the forefront of providing low-and middle-income countries

with affordable vaccines against COVID-19. The Serum Institute

of India, an Indian corporation, has entered AstraZeneca to

produce the vaccine.

Vaccine supplies have recently arrived in Bhutan, Nepal,

Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Mauritius, and Seychelles, 

only days after the launch of India's own national inoculation


After it gains clearance in those countries, the vaccine will be

sent to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, Pakistan, which has accepted the AstraZeneca

vaccine is clearly missing from the recipient list. As a

response to a press briefing, Anurag Shrivastava, Indian

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, said that he is not 

aware of any request for vaccines from Pakistan’s end.

Amidst all the criticism about vaccine inequality, India has now 

managed to gain praise from the neighboring countries and is now 

being called a “vaccine powerhouse”. Indian Prime Minister, 

Mr.Narendra Modi, has emphasized prioritizing South Asian

countries, i.e. its neighboring countries, for the distribution

of the vaccines. Although China has also been giving its locally

developed vaccines to countries such as Indonesia and Turkey and

promising many others to help overcome the pandemic, South Asian 

countries are relying on India for supplying the AstraZeneca

vaccine for their steady recovery.

Sreeram Chaulia further added that India would like to point out 

that in this area, unlike some others where China typically

surpasses India in terms of military and economic strength, 

India genuinely has a competitive edge and advantage over China

in this sector, in pharmaceutical products, in affordable health

care. This is going to be a subtle reminder that you really can

rely on us, that we have not produced the problem, but we can be

part of the solution.

But this diplomacy became undiplomatic when the Chinese 

Communist Party’s daily newspaper Global Times raised concerns

about the ability of India to fulfill the global demand for

vaccinations after the fire at the Pune facility of the Serum 

Institute of India (SII), which took five lives and caused a

loss of Rs 1,000 crore, even though the company clarified that

the fire did not affect the development or storage of the Covid-

19 vaccine, Covishield.

Quoting a BBC story, Global Times said that All India Drug 

Action Network (AIDAN), a patient advocacy organization, said 

that SII had rushed forward with the manufacture of Covishield

without performing a bridging study for the vaccine, despite

SII promising it will do so. Global Times also said that Indians

living in China embraced Chinese vaccines and also cited an

expert stating that India's vaccines were supplied mostly to 

South Asian countries, also as assistance, and that many

countries had quality reservations regarding India's vaccines.

Global Times also quoted some tweets where the netizens are 

questioning the reliability of Indian media’s coverage of the

SII fire incident and said that they (the media houses) only

showed what the company said.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Brazil, South Africa,

Bangladesh, and Myanmar, however, have not only become aid 

receivers but have also stepped into contractual vaccine 

distribution arrangements.


Shilpa Kamoli

By Admin

Shilpa Kamoli, from Shivam Infosolutions – Hub of IT services provider and specialized in content writing. Take the hassle out of content writing today with Shivam Infosolutions, Use our content writing services to find the perfect Content Writer for your website, SEO, or write-ups about social events, new product services, etc. We have top Content Creators and Content Marketers ready to take your business to the next level and a dedicated team that is servicing various clients in India and around the world.


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