INDIA has banned exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to meet domestic demand as infections rise.
The vaccine is made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine-make, and represents a blow to the UK’s vaccination programme.
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“Everything else has taken a backseat, for the time being at least,” a source told Reuters.
“No exports, nothing till the time the India situation stabilises. The government won’t take such a big chance at the moment when so many need to be vaccinated in India.”
The move will also affect supplies to the GAVI/WHO-backed COVAX vaccine-sharing facility through which more than 180 countries are expected to get doses.
COVAX has so far received 17.7 million AstraZeneca doses from the SII, of the 60.5 million doses India has shipped in total, and many countries are relying on the programme to immunise their citizens.
There have been no vaccine exports from India since Thursday, the foreign ministry's website here shows, as the country expands its own immunisation effort.
More to follow…
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