India to become ‘Silicon Valley’ for vaccines: US

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, 25 October

US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Operating Officer David Marchik and Biologicals E. MD Mahima Datla on Monday unveiled the expansion of the vaccine maker’s manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.

A DFC news release said they formally finalized a US government funding arrangement of $50 million to expand the company’s capacity.

The action is in support of the commitment set by President Biden and his counterparts in the “quad” – Australia, India, Japan and the US – added the communique.

It aims to support biological e to produce more than 100 crore vaccine doses by the end of 2022 for India and developing countries.

Marchik is leading a team of Biden executives for this initiative. “We are trying to help create a hub for vaccine manufacturing and hubs for this type of expertise. Just like Silicon Valley is the center of technology,” he has said.

The DFC helps secure US financing for infrastructure projects in developing countries. It was created, in part, to compete with China’s infrastructure loan program, the Belt and Road Initiative.

DFC has committed approximately $600 million for investments related to the COVID vaccine.

“What we have learned through the pandemic is that we need strong and diverse supply chains. That’s why we are focusing on boosting manufacturing in different sectors in big countries like India and smaller countries like South Africa,” Marchik has said.

Biden has stepped in to meet the developing world’s vaccine needs through the quad, but he has also faced criticism from the WHO and others for offering booster shots to fully vaccinated Americans when millions of people around the world had not yet received their first dose.