As pressure mounts to quickly introduce a mass vaccination program in India, its spread in developing countries has been delayed

The Indian government will be stockpiling the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine until March as part of a nationwide vaccination campaign, delaying its further spread in developing countries

The Serum Institute of India (SII), which has been licensed to manufacture at least one billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, was granted emergency use if not by the Government of India on Sunday Export the recordings

Global health experts have raised concerns that the move means “developing countries pharmacy has closed its doors” – India is the largest producer of generic medicines in low and middle income countries

But within the country that has suffered from the world’s second largest Covid-19 epidemic, there is an urgent need to rapidly implement a mass vaccination program for India’s 1.38 billion citizens is increasing

Although the number of new daily cases in India has dropped to its lowest level in six months, the presence of the highly contagious British strain Covid-19 has sparked fears of a new spike

“India’s Covid-19 warriors – frontline health workers and key service providers – are now protected by the vaccine,” said Dr Jyoti Joshi, Head of South Asia at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Politics “This is welcome news as India is one of the countries hardest hit by the virus”

Others have indicated that wealthy countries including the UK, Canada and the United States have effectively stocked doses of vaccine by receiving millions of doses in advance from manufacturers

India hopes to complete the first wave of vaccinations in early March and will then allow the SII to deliver doses through the Covax program, a global vaccine allocation plan sponsored by the World Health Organization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparation and the World Health Organization is headed to export to developing countries Gavi, the vaccination alliance

The initiative was launched to combat “vaccine nationalism” and aims to immunize two billion people by the end of 2021. Initially, participating countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate the most vulnerable 20 percent of their population

According to Gavi, SII has agreed to deliver Covax 200 million doses of the AstraZeneca or Novavax Covid-19 bursts with options for an additional 900 million

“These are for lower-income countries only,” a spokesman told The Telegraph. “Our goal, which is backed by the Indian government, remains to start dispensing cans in the first quarter of this year with it all countries have timely and fair access to vaccines

“Vaccine delivery depends on a number of factors, including national regulatory conditions, country willingness and the adequacy of vaccine technologies in particular country contexts,” they added

According to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the SII, the organization plans to deliver Covax initially 20 million doses in March and a total of 400 million by the end of 2021

The first 50 million AstraZeneca pods manufactured in December are in use in India

Some public health experts criticized the government of India’s decision to ban exports of the vaccine until March, arguing that doing so would delay delivery to other hard-hit nations

“This is a major blow to AstraZeneca vaccine access in developing countries,” said Dr Mark Eccleston-Turner, expert in global health law at Keele University

“India is the world’s largest manufacturer, SII is the largest vaccine manufacturer. So the export ban cut off a huge supply”

Dr Eccleston-Turner added that while we have seen export bans on PPE and drugs during previous global health crises and the current pandemic, linking such restrictions to regulatory approval sets a new precedent

“It is a big problem for the distribution of vaccines against Covid, but also for future multilateralism movements like this one will long be remembered,” he told The Telegraph

“This is likely to further delay access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries,” added Kate Elder, Senior Vaccination Policy Advisor at Médecins sans Frontière

“There was a lot to celebrate in June 2020 with the announcement that Oxford / AstraZeneca would license the vaccine to SII to make doses (up to 1 billion doses) for LMICs, with a commitment to 400 million doses by the end of 2020 to deliver

“It now appears that these volumes and the announced schedule will be significantly delayed, leading to growing inequality between countries that have first-time access to Covid-19 vaccines and the poorest countries in the world.” p>

“This decision is yet another example of a country that puts its own needs before the global solidarity required to end the pandemic at the expense of people living in poorer countries,” she told The Telegraph. p>
However, Mr Poonawalla argued that the initial doses would be used to protect the extremely vulnerable. “We cannot vaccinate everyone right now. We can prioritize,” he said, adding that the vaccine would be profitable from selling the vaccine to the private Indian health sector is forbidden

The SII said it is also looking into bilateral agreements with other developing countries, including Bangladesh and Morocco, to ensure those in need get the virus

On Monday, the Brazilian government-funded Fiocruz Institute announced that the country’s foreign ministry was holding talks to secure the doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Covid-19 made in India

Two people familiar with the negotiations told Reuters that Brazil was doing diplomatic press to secure two million doses of the vaccine amid concerns about possible export restrictions

On Sunday, India approved a second vaccine, Covaxin, developed by the Indian Council for Medical Research, for emergency use

The vaccine is considered a milestone for the Indian pharmaceutical industry and was already controversially discussed after it was discovered that it was approved prior to the completion of the Phase 3 studies

Public health experts feared that there was no guarantee of safety as large-scale studies were not carried out and the Government of India should wait for final data to be collected in February

In response, the Indian government has backed down, stating that the Covaxin vaccine will only be used if the UK strain of Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in the country

We strongly recommend that you disable your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our high-quality content in the future

AstraZeneca

World news – GB – “The pharmacy of the developing countries is closing its doors”: India stores the vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/pharmacy-developing-world-shuts-doors-india-stockpiles-oxford/