Due to export restrictions placed on Serum Institute of India (SII), a key supplier, and scale-up challenges at manufacturing sites, COVAX has cut the forecast for the availability of Covid-19 vaccine doses by 25% for 2021. COVAX is a multilateral initiative aimed at fostering access of Covid-19 vaccines globally.
By the end of August, 330 million doses had been released for delivery, with 230 having been delivered to 139 participating economies. As per the latest supply forecast, 1.1 billion doses are expected to become available for delivery between September and the end of 2021. This amounts to a total of approximately 1.4 billion doses available for 2021.
Of these 1.4 billion doses, approximately 1.2 billion will be available for Advance Market Commitment (AMC) participants. This is equivalent to 20% population coverage, or 40% of the adult population in all 92 AMC economies bar India, COVAX said in a statement, adding that the supply will continue to expand in the first quarter of 2022, reaching a total of 2.6 billion doses available for supply by the end of March.
COVAX added that the timing and the likelihood of filing and getting the approval from a stringent regulatory authority for vaccines produced by Novavax, SII-Novavax and Clover which is already on WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL), are some of the other reasons for the reduction in expected vaccine doses. These issues have affected the supply of Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being manufactured in India under the brand name Covishield by SII. In the COVAX portfolio, there are 11 vaccines including Covishield.
Time and again the Indian government has reiterated that it has not banned the exports of Covid-19 vaccines, but has taken a cautious approach in shipments, keeping the domestic demand in mind.
Reportedly, India has supplied to more than 80 countries across the world.
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