A first-ever meeting of leaders of the Quad group of countries on Friday plans to announce funding deals to support an increase in coronavirus vaccine manufacturing capacity in India, a senior US administration official told Reuters. .
The funding deals will be between the United States, Japan and others and will focus in particular on Indian companies and institutions making vaccines for American drug makers Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson, the official said, who did not wish to be identified by name.
The aim of the Quad initiative, which brings together the United States, India, Japan and Australia, would be to reduce manufacturing backlogs, speed up vaccination and overcome certain coronavirus mutations, a declared the responsible.
“The idea is that the faster you can vaccinate, the more you can overcome some of these mutations. So this is a capability that will be brought online later this year and that will significantly increase our capacity, collectively, ”he said.
Part of the supplementary immunization capacity created in India would be used in immunization efforts in countries in Southeast Asia, the official added.
The White House announced earlier on Tuesday that President Joe Biden would participate in an online Quad meeting on Friday, the first leadership-level meeting of a group seen as part of efforts to balance the growing military and economic power of the China.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she expected a range of issues facing the global community to be debated “from the threat of COVID, to economic cooperation and … climate crisis ”.
The leaders will discuss regional and global issues of common concern and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation to keep an Indo-Pacific region free, open and inclusive, a press release said. The summit will be an opportunity to exchange views on contemporary challenges such as resilient supply chains, emerging and critical technologies, maritime safety and climate change, he added.
India urged other Quad members to invest in its vaccine production capacity in an attempt to counter China’s expanding vaccine diplomacy.