With its government being questioned over the decision to send vaccines to foreign countries, the ruling BJP on Wednesday accused the Opposition parties of spreading misinformation about India’s vaccine programme and said around 84 per cent of doses sent under ‘Vaccine Maitri’ were part of commercial and licencing liabilities of the Indian manufacturers.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra, while addressing a virtual press conference, said 1.07 crore vaccine doses sent abroad were India’’s aid to different countries and noted that of those, 78.5 lakh were dispatched to seven neighbouring countries. “A safer neighbourhood is good for India too,” he said.
Patra said more than two lakh doses were given to the UN peace-keeping force, in which over 6,600 Indian soldiers are deployed. He accused the AAP and Congress, especially Rahul Gandhi, of spreading misinformation that the Narendra Modi government has exported over 6.63 crore vaccine doses abroad while not using those to inoculate Indians.
Sending over 5.50 crore vaccine doses abroad was the compulsion of the two Indian manufacturers as it was part of their commercial and licensing liabilities, Patra said.
Patra pointed out that the intellectual property rights over Covishield, manufactured in the country by the Serum Institute of India (SII), are with Astrazeneca, a foreign firm and that the SII was obliged to send a part of the vaccines produced by it abroad.
The SII and Covaxin manufacturer…