Despite a horrific second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in India, the Quad nations’ pledge to supply a billion Covid vaccines to people in Southeast Asia by 2022 is still on schedule, according to a top White House official. During a virtual meeting in March, leaders of the Quad – Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – decided to donate a billion vaccinations to Southeast Asia.
These vaccines were supposed to be made in India, but due to the second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic, some are questioning if the Quad would fulfill its commitment by 2022.
“I think we’re feeling relatively confident as we head into 2022, but we recognise that what we are facing right now across Asia, in fact, across the world are new strains that spread more rapidly. So even countries that did extremely well through social distancing and masking are now facing outbreaks even with tremendous stringency”, said the White House’s Indo-Pacific strategy director, Kurt Campbell.
He added that the intention is to host an in-person Quad meeting in Washington in the fall. It will be ensured that all relevant measures on the vaccination deliverable are taken with all leaders present.
In response to a question on press reports of the Quad’s expansion, he stated that the focus would be on deepening and broadening familiarity and broadening inside governments.