tharoor150_Erika SANTELICES  AFP) (Photo by ERIKA SANTELICESafpAFP via Getty Images_india vaccine export Erika Santelices/Safp/AFP via Getty Images

India’s Smart Vaccine Diplomacy

As countries scramble to secure supplies in the face of "vaccine apartheid," India has enhanced its global standing by making vaccines that are readily available in the world's poorest countries. This effort may one day help India secure recognition as a global power – with a permanent UN Security Council seat to go with it.

NEW DELHI – As countries scramble to secure COVID-19 vaccines, ugly expressions like “vaccine race” and “vaccine nationalism” have entered the global lexicon. But, at a time when global cooperation in sharing vaccines is minimal, and the World Health Organization’s vaccine-distribution plans are yet to get off the ground, India has taken a different tack, quietly pursuing “vaccine diplomacy.” Its “Vaccine Maitri” (Vaccine Friendship) campaign has shipped hundreds of thousands of Indian-made Covishield vaccines, manufactured under license from Oxford-AstraZeneca, to some 60 countries.