Covid-19: India slows vital vaccine exports as cases soar

Reuters
Reuters

As a major supplier, the development is a blow to vital vaccination programmes in poorer countries.



By AFP

Published: Fri 26 Mar 2021, 8:30 AM

India, the “pharmacy of the world”, has put the brakes on exporting Covid-19 vaccines as it battles a new wave of infections at home and a faltering inoculation drive.

As a major supplier, the development is a blow to vital vaccination programmes in poorer countries under the Covax global inoculation initiative led by the World Health Organization and the Gavi alliance.

So far, India has sent more than 60 million doses to 76 countries, mostly AstraZeneca shots manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine maker by volume.

On Thursday, Gavi said vaccine deliveries planned for the rest of March and April “will face delays” because of “increased demand of Covid-19 vaccines in India”.

An Indian government source said late on Thursday it had “not imposed any ban on exports of vaccines unlike many other countries. We remain committed to helping the world with vaccines, including through Covax.”


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