Two South Asian neighbouring countries lauded India’s much acclaimed Vaccine Maitri.
“Our campaign to vaccinate our population has been recognised as an unlikely success story, and today, more than 90 per cent of our entire population stand fully vaccinated. This, in no small measure, was possible due to the heart warming goodwill of friends and partners, including India, whose Vaccine Maitri initiative enabled the full first round of vaccinations for our adult population,” Bhutan Foreign Minister Lyonpo Tandi Dorji said in his address to the high-level 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Bharat Raj Paudyal also echoed similar sentiment and said, “In Nepal, we have been able to fully vaccinate 96 per cent of the target population, with almost everyone receiving at least one dose. We thank our immediate neighbours – India and China, our development partners, and the United Nations System for their valuable support”.
Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative of the Indian government, more than 250 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been supplied to over 100 countries, including nearly 95 lakh doses to Nepal and 5.5 lakh doses to Bhutan.
The story of India’s vaccination drive and also providing the same to countries in India’sneighbourhood like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh and a host of African countries is not as simple as it sounds today.
Indian neta class – from opposition parties such as communists, Congress and Samajwadi Party – tried to encourage a sentiment of anti-vaccination or vaccine phobia among citizens.
Some leaders also said they will not take ‘Bhajpa (BJP) vaccines”.
The opposition parties were so blinded by their negativity that some Chief Ministers did not like incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo in the vaccine certificates.
In the region by beginning of 2021, India supplied vaccines to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and also Afghanistan.