The COVID-19 pandemic is slowly ending in the developed nations in the world. Thanks to vaccines the developed world is now opening to pre-pandemic life again. The situation is not the same everywhere in the globe. Meanwhile, the low and lower-middle economy nations of the world are struggling to find doses of vaccines.
India the Vaccine Capital Gets Short of Doses
India is the nation that has the greatest vaccine production facility. Its Serum Institute of India is the largest vaccine maker in the world. Meanwhile, India is facing the worst outbreak of COVID-19. Even after this, India is facing an acute vaccine shortage due to lax policy of not committing to doses early. As a result, the Central Government of India has virtually banned any vaccine exports.
IMF unveiled a proposal for $50 billion investment plan that can possibly vaccinate people around the world against COVID-19 by the middle of next year. The IMF also stated that India’s decision to ban vaccine exports was affecting the developing countries. IMF also noted the delay in vaccine delivery by the Serum Institute of India (SII) which has license to produce Novavax and AstraZeneca jabs.
What is COVAX
COVAX is a global initiative to secure vaccine doses for the developing nations of the world. It aims to provide vaccine doses to at least 20 per cent of the populations of the developing world. The doses the COVAX gets is in form of donations from the manufacturers. Until now it has distributed about 65 million doses, mainly to African continent.
India has decided to delay its vaccine exports in order to prioritize vaccinations at home. Such delays are expected to have a significant impact on the developing countries of world. The SII was in a contract to supply 85 percent of its produced vaccine doses to the COVAX facility. Such delay reduces access to vaccines for almost 4 billion people in 91 developing countries which rely on this facility. Thus, delays increase the chances of a new variant which could potentially escape immunity built by vaccines.
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