Kovacs expects full supply of vaccines from India’s serum in May, UNICEF says

File photo: AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine vial prepared during vaccination of teachers and nursery teachers, amid outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Germany, March 5, 2021. Rears / Fabian Beamer / File photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s (WHO) program to deliver coronavirus vaccines to poor countries is expected to see the Serum Institute of India (SII) resume full delivery of AstraZeneca in May, UNICEF said on Saturday. .

A UNICEF spokesperson told Reuters in an email that delivery of the SII / AZ vaccine is expected to resume by May, with catch-up delivery to reach the full allocation of each participant by May, followed by speed.

The spokesperson added that the program, known as Kovacs, was also in talks with New Delhi in April to secure “a little supply”. Covex expected a total of 90 million doses from SII in March and April, of which it received about 28 million.

UNICEF is the distributor partner of the program in conjunction with the GAVI Vaccine Alliance.

India, the world’s largest vaccine maker, said on Friday it would prioritize domestic COVID-19 inoculations as infection growth, and has informed international buyers of its decision.

“India’s decision is ‘understandable’ but the WHO is discussing it so it provides doses to other countries,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanam Brebrasius said on Friday.

So far, Covex has delivered one million million doses of the vaccine to 611 countries, but 36 countries are still waiting for the vaccine to begin inoculation, Taveros said.

Report by Krishna N. Das; Edited by Francis Carey