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Notícias Internacionais / 29/04/2021


Uncontrolled pandemic in India threatens vaccination against Covid in Africa

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Uncontrolled pandemic in India threatens vaccination against Covid in Africa

Indian government has restricted dose exports, which affects the supply of immunizers for the Covax consortium

The uncontrolled contagion by Covid-19 in India will not only affect the country's health system, but should delay the already slow global distribution of vaccines - especially the African continent. According to a survey by the daily "The New York Times", most nations in Africa depend on vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India.

New Delhi, however, has restricted dose exports to deal with growing domestic demand. The problem is that the institute, based in Mumbai, is the main producer of vaccines of the Covax initiative, mediated by the WHO (World Health Organization) and which allocates doses to poor countries.

Until India suspended exports, the Serum Institute had destined, alone, 60 million doses of the immunizer - 43.4 million to low- and middle-income countries assisted by Covax, mainly Africa. Indian export controls are now the main constraint on the supply of the program.

Even before the shutdown, the African continent had problems in receiving vaccines, a slower process when compared to other continents. As of last Wednesday (21), only half of the more than 36 million doses of vaccine purchased had reached the continent, with 1.3 billion inhabitants.


Of the total, only six million doses have been administered across Sub-Saharan Africa - less than most states in the United States. Countries like Rwanda and Ghana, the first to receive Covax remittances, are already running out of supplies. In Botswana, vaccination was suspended in April due to a lack of immunizers.

So far, ten African countries have consumed more than two-thirds of the supplies, said WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti. The AU (African Union) task force, which secured funding to buy 400 million doses Johnson & Johnson, is not expected to receive vaccines until the end of June.

African countries have now turned to Russia and China. Still, the continent faces an intense wave of cases. The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,155 deaths the virus last Friday (23), despite the precarious death records.

While countries try to deal with the immunizations they have already received, nations like Eritrea, Chad, Burundi, Tanzania and Burkina Faso have not yet administered any vaccines.

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