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Demand still strong for India-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses: COVAX’s GAVI

NEW DELHI: Global vaccine-sharing network COVAX is still seeing strong demand for India-made doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot, one of its backers the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) said, following comments from producer the Serum Institute of India (SII) that uptake had slowed sharply.

The SII, the world’s biggest vaccine maker, told India’s CNBC-TV18 this week that it would temporarily halve the vaccine’s production as it had no fresh orders from the Indian government, and COVAX was taking fewer doses than the company could offer.

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla, whose company brands the shot Covishield, said that COVAX was placing orders but at a “very slow” rate, adding that “the uptake will pick up in the next quarter”. Covishield production is currently at 250 million doses a month.

GAVI said that COVAX had allocated 40 million Covishield doses to various countries after New Delhi last month let the SII resume such supplies for the first time since April. India imposed an export ban on COVID-19 vaccines in April to prioritise domestic supplies and deal with a surge in local infections.

GAVI, which co-leads COVAX with the World Health Organization, also said that it had the option to buy vaccines, keeping a “flexible approach as the pandemic and countries’ needs continue to evolve”.

“We are still experiencing robust country demand for SII-Covishield,” a GAVI spokesperson said in an email.

“Covishield will continue to play an important role within COVAX’s diverse portfolio of vaccines … to achieve higher coverage rates in lower-income countries.”

Demand still strong for India-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses: COVAX’s GAVI Source link Demand still strong for India-made AstraZeneca vaccine doses: COVAX’s GAVI

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