Quad summit agrees on vaccine cooperation


 The leaders of the Quad agreed on Friday to cooperate in providing vaccines to the Indo-Pacific region by harnessing their scientific, manufacturing and financial capabilities, charting a new course of close cooperation.

Marking the new, enhanced phase of cooperation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the start of the quadrilateral virtual summit involving the US, India, Japan and Australia that “Quad has come of age”.

A joint statement issued after the virtual summit said, “Building on the progress our countries have achieved on health security, we will join forces to expand safe, affordable and effective vaccine production and equitable access, to speed economic recovery and benefit global health.”

“We will combine our nations’ medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery and development capabilities and establish a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution,” said the statement issued after the meeting also involving Prime Ministers Scott Morrison of Australia and Yoshihide Suga of Japan, and US President Joe Biden.

US Vice President Kamala Harris was also present at the meeting.