COVID-19 vaccine shortages expected to hit developing countries

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Coronavirus vaccine shortages are expected to hit dozens of developing countries as a program designed to ensure access to vulnerable populations is hampered by shipping delays.

COVAX, an international initiative of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and others, has been authorized to deliver just two million doses of the vaccine to 92 countries, a figure that would leave tens of millions of people without vaccination, according to UNICEF data.

The delay was caused in large part by a decision by India to stop exporting its supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced in their Serum Institute. The Pune-based vaccine distributor was expected to supply up to a third of the global supply of AstraZeneca shipments, but was forced to step down to meet national demands from its own population of 1, 3 billion inhabitants.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday denounced what he called a “shocking imbalance” between vaccination rates in rich and poor countries.

About one in four people in rich countries received the coup de grace, compared to about one in 500 of the poorest, Ghebreyesus said.

A woman in protective gear draws up a vaccination syringe.
The shortage is likely to leave many of those who received their first injection wondering when they might get a second.
dpa / photo alliance via Getty I

The shortage is likely to leave many of those who received their first injection wondering when they might get a second.

“My fear if I don’t get the second dose, my immune system is going to be weak, so I could die,” Oscar Odinga, an official from Nairobi, Kenya, told The Associated Press.

With Post Wires

People line up early at the COVID-19 vaccination center at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
People line up early at the COVID-19 vaccination center at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Timothy A. Clary / Getty Images

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