LONDON (A.P.) — As many as 60 countries, including some of the world’s poorest, might be stalled at the first shots of theirvaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help them are blocked until as late as June. COVAX, the global initiative to to countries lacking the clout to negotiate for scarce supplies on their own, has in the past week shipped more than 25,000 doses to low-income countries only twice on any given day.
Deliveries have all but halted since Monday.
During the past two weeks,, fewer than 2 million COVAX doses were cleared for shipment to 92 countries in the developing world — the same amount injected in Britain alone.
On Friday, the head of the World. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said that while one in four , only one in 500 people in poorer countries had gotten a dose.
The vaccine shortage stems mainly fromto stop exporting vaccines from its Serum Institute factory, which produces the overwhelming majority of the AstraZeneca doses that COVAX counted on to supply around a third of the global population at a time
COVAX will only ship vaccines cleared by WHO, and countries are increasingly impatient. Supplies are dwindling in some of the first countries to receive COVAX shipments, and the expected delivery of second doses in the 12-weekcurrently recommended is now in doubt. In a statement, the vaccine alliance known as GAVI told The Associated Press that 60 by the delays.
Inin Nairobi, many who arrived for their first jabs were uneasy about when the second would come. I fear my immune system will weaken if I don’t get the double dose. Hence I might die,” said Oscar Odinga, a civil servant. Internal WHO documents obtained by the A.P. show the uncertainty about deliveries “is causing some countries to lose faith in the COVAX (effort).” That is prompting WHO to consider from China and Russia, which any regulators have not authorized in
. The WHO documents show the U.N. agency faces questions from COVAX participants about allotments in addition to “uncertainty about whether all those vaccinated in round 1 are guaranteed a second dose.” WHO declined to respond specifically to the issues raised in the internal materials but has previously said countries are “very keen” to get vaccines as soon as possible and insisted it hasn’t heard any complaints about the process.
Concern over the link between thehas also “created nervousness around its safety and efficacy,” which was noted. Some experts have pointed out that Sinopharm and Sinovac, two Chinese-made vaccines, lack published data, and there are reports of people needing a third dose to be protected. Among its proposed solutions is a decision to “expedite review of additional products” from China and Russia. WHO said last month it might be possible to greenlight the Chinese vaccines by the end of April.
“If there is something that weof serious adverse events from these vaccines, that will undermine the confidence in all the good products that we’re using that we know are safe,” said Dora Curry, director of health equity and rights at CARE International. Other experts worried that delays could erode faith in particularly efficient governments in their and were counting on second doses soon.