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WHO is “urgently” trying to work with AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India (SII) as well as the Indian government to restart COVID-19 vaccine shipments to countries that have had to suspend deployment of second vaccine doses amid the disruption of supplies, said a senior official with the United Nations health agency.

“We have a large number of countries that have had to suspend the rollout of their second doses of vaccines,” Bruce Aylward, senior adviser to the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told Friday. a press briefing.

“More than 30 or 40 countries could have been targeted for second doses of AstraZeneca vaccines (but they) will not be able to do so,” said Aylward.

“We are now urgently trying to work with AstraZeneca itself as well as with SII, the Indian government to restart these shipments so that we can get these second doses to these populations as we run ‘at a longer interval’ than we would have liked it, “he said.

Aylward added that several countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia, have been hit hard by this.

“Some particularly affected countries include those around India like Nepal, Sri Lanka, others that have suffered a serious wave of illness. We are trying very, very desperately to access the doses. We had a pretty problem. important related to this “. he said.

Earlier this month, Aylward said that around 80 million ((8 crore) doses have been distributed through COVAX and that the Global Alliance for Equitable Vaccine Distribution is behind by around 200 million (20 crore ) of doses where it should be due to the disruption of COVAX supplies as a result of the devastating second wave of the coronavirus in India.

“The problem now is that supplies are cut off. We have disruptions because of the problems in India and others and we are struggling to fill that gap. And therefore countries are struggling to take it. momentum and get off to a good start, ”said Aylward. had said.

He added that supplies from India were cut off due to the need to redirect them there amid the booming second wave.

He noted that donating vaccines is a “short-term” solution to a very imperfect market and that countries that have the financial resources and produce the products do have access to vaccines.

“This is what we are trying to change, especially during this period from June to September,” he said.

Earlier this month, Aylward said the WHO expects SII volumes to reopen at least in the fourth quarter and warned that “we are preparing for failure if we don’t get no early doses “.

The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, is the primary supplier of AstraZeneca doses for COVAX.

However, the supply of IBS vaccines to COVAX has been impacted as the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic ravages India.

Last month, Ghebreyesus said that once the devastating epidemic in India has receded, “we also need the Serum Institute of India to get back on track and catch up on its delivery commitments to COVAX.”


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