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India should vaccinate its own people first rather than let the US co-opt it into its anti-China jab diplomacy

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Today it has been widely reported that the United States are urging India to restart its export of Covid vaccines. The South East Asian nation is known for its competitive pharmaceutical industry and was, until China displaced it this year, the world's largest producer and exporter of vaccines. In partnership with AstraZeneca, New Delhi created the ‘Covishield’ vaccine which Modi aspired to use under a ‘vaccine diplomacy’ stint of his own at the beginning of this year. That was until the country’s ‘Covid Tsunami’ struck and, under immense political pressure to vaccinate at home, forced him to announce a ban on exports, given the sheer size of its population, ending India's participation in the international Covid race.

That ban has remained in place ever since. Now, Biden is personally pushing New Delhi to resume this push. Why? Because in wake of the race to scramble for ‘Booster shots’, the US now wants to stockpile doses for themselves, amassing 100 million already, and want to use India, as it was intended at the beginning of this year, to be an effective ‘vaccine lackey’ against China to dilute its own global vaccination push. While Modi was tempted previously by this initiative, he should not sacrifice the interests of Indian people on behalf of America's crusades, with the gruesome scenes of April and May still fresh in people’s memories.

At the beginning of this year, the United States itself maintained an ‘America first’ policy of withholding vaccines for itself and upholding a Trump-era ban on exports. Having already faced........

© RT.com

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