A first-ever leaders’ meeting of the Quad group of countries on Friday plans to announce financing agreements to support an increase in manufacturing capacity for coronavirus vaccines in India, said a senior U.S administration official to Reuters.
It will be financing agreements will be between the United States, Japan, and others, focusing particularly on companies and institutions in India that are manufacturers of vaccines for American drugmakers Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson according to the officials.
The only aim or initiative led by the Quad is to reduce the manufacturing backlogs, speed vaccination and defeat some coronavirus mutations, said an official. The quad group includes the United States, India, Japan and Australia.
“The idea is that the quicker you can vaccinate, the more that you can defeat some of these mutations. So this is a capacity that will come online later this year, and it will substantially increase our capacity, collectively,” he said.
The official added, that some of the additional vaccine capacity created in India would be used in vaccination efforts in South Asian countries.
However, it was announced by the White House earlier that President Joe Biden will participate in an online Quad meeting on Friday, the first leader-level meeting of a group seen as part of efforts to balance China’s growing military and economic power.
India has urged the other Quad members to invest in its vaccine production capacity in an attempt to counter China’s widening vaccine diplomacy.