NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A World Health Organization (WHO) -supported program to provide coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries expects the Serum Institute of India (IBS) to resume full deliveries of AstraZeneca, which was shot dead in May, told UNICEF on Saturday.
“SII / AZ vaccine deliveries are expected to start completely again by May, with catch-up deliveries to reach each participant’s full allocation through May, and then accelerate thereafter,” a spokesperson said. from UNICEF to Reuters in an email.
The spokeswoman added that the program, known as COVAX, was in talks with New Delhi to secure “some supply” in April as well. COVAX expected a total of 90 million doses of IBS in March and April, of which it received about 28 million.
UNICEF is the program’s distribution partner, managed with the GAVI vaccine alliance.
India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said on Friday it would make national COVID-19 vaccinations a priority as infections rose, and had informed international buyers of its decision.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday India’s move was “understandable” but the WHO was in talks to continue providing doses to other countries.
So far, COVAX has delivered 32 million doses of vaccine to 61 countries, but 36 countries are still waiting for vaccines to start vaccinations, Tedros said.