The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said the government has put in place a quantitative restriction on the export of syringes to boost their domestic availability and uptake.
The Union Health Ministry said in a statement the restriction applies to just three categories of syringes for three months. The three categories are 0.5 ml/ 1ml AD (auto-disable) syringes , 0.5 ml/1 ml/2 ml/3 ml disposable syringes ,1ml/2 ml/3 ml RUP (re-use prevention) syringes.
"Domestic vaccine manufacturers and manufacturers of syringes have played an important and critical role in the effective implementation of the world's largest COVID vaccination programme in India," it further said.
India has so far administered nearly 94 crore vaccine doses and is nearing the 100 crore mark.
The ministry further clarified that it is not an export ban on any kind or type of syringes, it is only a quantitative restriction on the export of certain types of specified syringes for a limited duration of three months.
"With a firm political commitment to vaccinate India's last citizen, fulfilling the philosophy of 'Antyodaya' espoused by Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay, the Government has put in place a quantitative restriction on the export of syringes to boost their domestic availability and uptake." the Ministry said.
"This clarification also will help to resume exports of 0.3 ML AD Syringes as a part of the global vaccination campaign 'Vaccine Syringe MAITRI' to fulfil India's commitments to the World as then special Syringes will be used for Pfizer vaccines and not for Covaxin," said Rajiv Nath, President of All India Syringes & Needles Manufacturers Association (AISNMA).
"We are part of the global community. No one is safe until everyone is safe," he added.
India is currently producing more vaccines than Indian production of Auto Disable Syringes the preferred choice for Covid vaccination.
However, vaccination can be given also by standard disposable syringes with 0.5 ML / 1 ML / 2 ML or 3 ML syringes.
Between the 20 manufacturers of AISNMA, India's manufacturing capacity is over 50 million syringes per month and usually 30-50 per cent is spare capacity. Steps are being taken by manufacturers to optimize capacity utilization and source components and packaging materials, etc.
"We syringe manufacturers assure to support the Centre and will cooperate to do whatever needs to be taken to produce syringes ahead of schedule to ensure the success of India's massive vaccination campaign," said Nath.