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Gap in COVAX Doses

COVAX has received none of its expected vaccine shipments from the Serum Institute of India since March, leading to shortfall in doses, BBC News reports.

The COVAX Global Vaccines Facility was established to ensure global sharing and equitable distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and has a goal of delivering 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of the year. The effort, though, ran into difficulties as wealthier nations secured vaccine access directly from manufacturers, rather than through COVAX. Still, in February, the program announced its first shipment of vaccines to Ghana.

However, as Business Insider notes, the largest supplier of vaccines to the program is SII, but it halted exports in March to focus on domestic demand. "Unfortunately, we're in a situation where we just don't know when the next set of doses will materialize," Gian Gandhi, UNICEF's COVAX coordinator for supply, tells the BBC.

UNICEF, which is leading procurement for the effort, estimates that the shortfall will reach 190 million doses by next month, and it urges G7 leaders to share their excess vaccine supply. The BBC adds that COVAX has recently signed agreements with other manufacturers to bolster its supply, but that those won't yet fill the gap.