poonawalla

People stand in a queue to register for a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center, in Guwahati on June 5. (ANI photo)

NEW DELHI – After the U.S. lifted its embargo on the raw materials required to produce a COVID-19 vaccine, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla credited U.S. President Joe Biden and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for the "policy change,” stating that this will hopefully increase supply of raw materials globally.

"Thanks to the efforts of @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, & @DrSJaishankar, this policy change will hopefully increase the supply of raw materials globally and to India; boosting our vaccine production capacity and strengthening our united fight against this pandemic," Poonawalla tweeted. Soon after Poonawalla tweeted, Jaishankar also chimed in and said, "Indian diplomacy is focused on securing the vaccine supply chain."

On June 3, the United States lifted an embargo which was imposed in February under its Defense Production Act, which had ensured use of resources to produce doses for its population.

"U.S. vaccine manufacturers, we are confident in our supply of our authorized vaccines. As a result, we're removing the DPA priority ratings for AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Sanofi," the White House said in a statement.

Zients is in charge of leading the global vaccine sharing effort and is coordinating with the National Security Council and State Department.

The U.S. is set to allocate the first tranche of 25 million COVID-19 vaccines globally to address potential surges and the needs of the most vulnerable countries affected by the pandemic, including India.

On June 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris had a telephonic conversation and discussed the U.S.' strategy for global vaccine sharing and the Quad vaccine initiative to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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