NEW DELHI: With the government’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ grounded for now, India’s neighbours are looking at China to infuse some life into their own tottering vaccination programmes. Despite having blocked earlier the use of China’s Sinopharm vaccine for the local population, Sri Lanka just started administering the same to Lankans, after the vaccine was approved by WHO last week, and Bangladesh is expected to receive 5,00,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine from Beijing in the next few days.
Vaccination in both the countries, as also Nepal, took a severe hit after the Serum Institute of India could not keep its commitment to supply the Covishield vaccine to them because of a sharp spike in infections in India.
Nepal is also expected to start its second round of vaccination soon with the Vero Cell jab donated by China. Donation alone from China though is unlikely to meet the requirements of these countries.