India says it hasn’t banned the export of COVID-19 vaccines

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India’s health ministry says the government hasn’t banned the export of COVID-19 vaccines

Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of Serum Institute of India, told The Associated Press in an interview Sunday that the company got the green light for its version of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine on the condition that it not export shots to ensure that vulnerable populations in India are protected.

AstraZeneca contracted Serum Institute of India to manufacture 1 billion doses for developing nations. That vaccine and another developed by Indian company Bharat Biotech were granted licenses for emergency use by Indian regulators Sunday.

Vaccines can be sent to any country for their immunization programs, and the restrictions are only on private markets, a Serum Institute of India spokesman told the AP.

Earlier Tuesday, Poonawalla wrote on Twitter that “exports of vaccines are permitted to all countries.”

Serum Institute of India also issued a joint statement with Bharat Biotech, stating their “combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the COVID-19 vaccines for India and globally.”

“We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our COVID-19 vaccines,” it said.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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