The delivery of vaccines to disadvantaged countries, via the Covax system, will be delayed

Employee unloads boxes of Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, delivered as part of the UN-led Covax initiative – Amanuel SILESHI / AFP

Bad news. The delivery of anti-Covid vaccines to underprivileged countries via the Covax system will be delayed, “for lack of having obtained export licenses for the additional doses of vaccines (…) produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) which were to be shipped in March and April ”, explained on Thursday a spokesperson for the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), which co-pilots the Covax system with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Innovations in epidemic preparedness (Cepi).

These delays in the granting of new export licenses “are due (…) to the increased demand for vaccines” in India, which is confronted with the delay of vaccinations and the resurgence of contaminations, he added. Also, he said, “Covax is in talks with the Indian government to ensure that deliveries are made as quickly as possible.”

Doses to 20% of the population of nearly 200 countries and territories

The international Covax system aims to deliver doses to 20% of the population of nearly 200 countries and territories this year, and includes a funding mechanism to help 92 underprivileged countries.

According to an agreement between Gavi and the SII, the latter is required to provide Covax with doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine (manufactured in India) intended for 64 disadvantaged countries, in exchange for financial support to strengthen production capacities. of the Indian institute, said the spokesperson for the Vaccine Alliance. “SII is committed to ensuring that, in parallel with supplying India, it gives priority to the Covax multilateral solution for fair distribution,” he insisted.

India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer

India, the second most populous country in the world, has recorded more than 11.7 million cases of Covid-19 and in total deplores more than 160,000 deaths, making it the third most affected country after the United States. United and Brazil.

The world’s largest vaccine maker, the country has launched an ambitious campaign to vaccinate 300 million people by the end of July but is seriously behind schedule with barely 50 million people vaccinated until the end of July. here.

A jump to more than 40,000 new daily infections threatens the progress made as the number of new daily cases fell to less than 9,000 in early February, after the peak of 100,000 per day reached in September.

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