India temporarily halts AstraZeneca vaccine exports

India has reportedly halted exporting Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as domestic demand for the vaccine is picking up, foreign media reported.

Accordingly, over 190 countries under the Covax scheme are likely to be affected. India has exported more than 60 million vaccine doses to 76 countries so far. India is starting vaccinations for those over the age of 45 from 1 April.

Sri Lanka, however, is currently in talks with India through diplomatic channels to acquire the essential second dose of the vaccine, State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply, and Regulation, Prof. Channa Jayasumana said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet approval has been granted to purchase 7 million “Sputnik V” vaccines for USD 69.65 million upon the recommendation of the Cabinet Appointed Negotiation Committee.