Modi's 'pharmadiplomacy': India's COVID vaccines to 'help all humanity'

PM Modi delivers his virtual address at the UNGA | Credits: ANI

Presenting India as a global power for universal good, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his 'pharmadiplomacy', promising the world on Saturday that the nation's vaccine manufacturing capability will "help all humanity" in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic while assuring global leaders whose worries about its availability has been a dominant concern at the UN General Assembly.

"As the largest vaccine producing country of the world ... India's vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting this crisis," Modi said in his pre-recorded speech to the high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly.

"India will also help all the countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of the vaccines," he added offering help with a crucial aspect of its delivery around the developing countries.

As the world's pharmacy with a huge manufacturing capacity, India has a special role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic even though it is not at the forefront of developing an indigenous vaccine.

It has supplied hydroxychloroquine to countries around the world, including the United States.

Vaccine manufacturers like Serum Institute of India are manufacturing millions of doses of vaccines ahead of the completion of trials and approval process to be ready to ship at the green signal taking a huge financial risk.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the opening of the high-level session, "Some countries are reportedly making side deals exclusively for their own populations. Such 'vaccinationalism' is not only unfair, it is self-defeating."

The availability of a vaccine has been worrying developing and developed countries alike. Several countries said they were concerned with vaccine hoarding and profiteering.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrision said on Friday, "Whoever finds the vaccine must share it. This is a global responsibility and it's a moral responsibility for a vaccine to be shared far and wide."

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, who followed Modi, also agreed. Modi's message is to reassure everyone that vaccines will be available to them.

India has a record of pharmadiplomacy as it has almost single-handedly helped African countries combat AIDS with affordable medication.

More than two-thirds of medications to treat HIV are supplied by India.

(Arul Louis can be reached at and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel