Nairobi, Kenya – Rapid escalation Coronavirus crisis in India Not only is hospitals forcing oxygen rationing and families scrambling to find open beds for their injured loved ones. It is also wreaking havoc on the global vaccination effort.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Africa.
Most of the countries have been dependent on vaccines produced by the Serum Institute factory in India. But the decision of the Indian government Restricting exports Dosing as it deals with his outbreak means that The vaccination drive in Africa is already slow It could soon reach a dead end.
Before India suspended exports, more than 70 countries received vaccines to manufacture, totaling more than 60 million doses. Many have gone to low- and middle-income countries through the Covax Program, a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to vaccines.
So far, Kovacs Delivered 43.4 million doses to 119 countries, but that’s only 2 percent of the 2 billion doses it hopes to deliver this year, according to Andrea Taylor, associate director at the Duke Global Center for Health Innovation.
“Export controls from India are the primary constraint on the current supply of Covax,” she wrote in an email.
Even before India stopped shipping, Africa was experiencing the slowest spread of the vaccine on any continent. As of Wednesday, African countries of 1.3 billion people have received more than 36 million vaccine doses but only about 15 million have been given. According to the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- On April 23, a panel of advisors made the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work Vote to recommend raising a pause On the Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccine And add a poster about a very uncommon but potentially dangerous blood clotting disorder.
- Federal health officials are expected to formally recommend these states Raise a pause.
- Administration of the vaccine was recently discontinued after reports of a rare blood clotting disorder appeared in six women who received the vaccine.
- The general risk of developing the disorder is Too low. Women 30 to 39 years of age appear to be at greater risk, with 11.8 cases given per million doses. There were seven cases per million doses among women between 18 and 49.
- Nearly eight million doses of the vaccine have now been administered. Among men and women age 50 or older, there was less than one case per million doses.
- Johnson & Johnson too She decided to postpone launching her vaccine in Europe Amidst similar concerns, but decided later Resume its campaign After the European Union Medicines Regulatory Authority said a warning label should be added. South Africa, devastated by a more contagious viral variant has also appeared there Stop using the vaccine But at a later time Progress with it.
Only six million doses were administered across sub-Saharan Africa – fewer than many doses Individual US states. The prospect of reduced supplies further complicates what has been, for many African nations, an already daunting logistical challenge.
Many African governments have prioritized administering first doses to a larger population in the hope that more doses will arrive soon. Now they are struggling with what to do if there is not enough vaccine supply to give the complete two-dose regimen that provides maximum protection.
Countries like Rwanda and Ghana, which were among the first to receive doses of Covax, are on the verge of running out of primary supplies. In Botswana, vaccinations Paused In some areas this month after the expiration of allotted doses. And Kenya which has approx He ran out of a million initial dosesThis week he said he would Seeking Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines To continue the vaccination campaign. On Saturday, due to the delay, the country extended the timing between the administration of the first and second dose to 12 weeks from eight.
In total, the 10 African countries have implemented the most vaccinations It consumed more than two-thirds of its supplyDr Machidisu Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said.
The African Union vaccination squad Secure funding to purchase up to 400 million vaccines from Johnson & Johnson For member states – but those doses won’t start arriving until the fall.
Dr. Moeti said: “More than a billion Africans are still on the sidelines of this historic march to end this epidemic.”
A spokesperson for Gavi, who helps lead the Covax program, said in an email that he had been in close contact with the Indian government about restarting vaccine shipments, but “in terms of timing of the next deliveries, we cannot confirm at this point.”
Even while the United States sits Tens of millions of doses AstraZeneca – the least expensive vaccine in widespread use – African countries are turning to it Russia And the China dosing Made in those countries, despite concerns about a lack of clinical data on its efficacy and safety.
Amid the delays, some African countries are facing new and possibly more deadly waves of the epidemic. The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 2,155 deaths from the virus last week, up from 1,866 the previous week.
In Nairobi, the capital of Kenya and home to one of the continent’s best healthcare systems, officials have warned of a dearth of intensive care beds Oxygen supply. Last month, the Kenyan government ordered B. New insurance That sparked outrage over the economic impact of the restrictions.