New Delhi: The White House on Wednesday (August 4, 2021) said that the Quad countries are on track to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine in India by the end of 2022. It also reiterated its commitment to provide free jabs to the needy across the world without any strings attached. The Quad grouping comprises Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
Earlier, in March, the Quad leaders held their first-ever virtual summit and committed themselves to provide one billion vaccines to Southeast Asia.
"Our Quad partnership is on track to help produce at least 1 billion doses of Covid vaccines in India for the Asia region by the end of 2022," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.
White House Press Secretary also added that the United States has provided 110 million vaccines to the world so far.
"That is more than any other country has shared combined. We also made clear that is the beginning and we also started to donate the 500 million doses of Pfizer we've purchased. We will start to donate those later this month," Psaki said.
While asserting that the United States has taken "far more" action at the global level than any other country, she urged the world community to step up.
"We saw some action at the G7. More needs to happen," she said, adding that according to health experts, 11 billion doses are still required.
"So, I think our effort is going to be continuing to make this a front and centre discussion at global engagements meetings, whether it's the UNGA or G20 or meetings we will have in future, because it is going to require all of the richest countries in the world, including the United States, to step up, to increase vaccine donations, to increase manufacturing capacity," she added.
Additionally, Psaki also asserted that the country can provide vaccines to its people and donate to other countries as well.
"We believe we can do both. We also, in this country, have enough supply to ensure that every American has access to a vaccine. We will have enough supply to ensure if the FDA decides that boosters are recommended for a portion of the population, to provide those as well. We believe we can do both and we don't need to make that choice," Psaki said.
(With PTI inputs)