India stops sharing vaccines and slows down Covax program

The beneficiary countries of the Covax device were informed, Thursday, March 25, of delays in deliveries of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that India should have shipped in March and April. These delays could be even greater. A government source in India told Reuters news agency that there would be no “No exports, nothing until the situation in India stabilizes. “

The spokesperson for Gavi, the international vaccine alliance that coordinates the Covax device, confirmed the holding of “Talks with the Indian government to ensure that deliveries are made as quickly as possible”.

The Serum Institute of India (SII), a huge complex where the AstraZeneca vaccine is produced under the name “Covishield”, is the main supplier of the Covax device, to which it has contractually committed to deliver 550 million doses from here. to 2022 as part of a technology transfer agreement.

Covax, a major tool for vaccinating the whole world

The program, mainly funded by the United States and the European Union, is a major issue for the vaccination of populations in 92 low and middle income countries, including India, itself a beneficiary of 20% of the total doses. of vaccine available under the scheme, or around 250 million.

Alliance spokesperson Gavi recalled that “The SII is committed that, along with supplying India, it will prioritize the Covax multilateral solution for equitable distribution. “ The country, which has deplored 161,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic (but a very low rate in proportion to the population), has 12 million cases of Covid-19 and records nearly 60,000 new ones every day, a number at again up sharply.


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