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Coronavirus

India: UN Vaccine Program Delayed to End of Year

NEW DELHI — The Serum of Institute of India says it hopes to start delivering coronavirus vaccine doses to the U.N. backed effort known as COVAX and to other countries by the end of the year, which will significantly set back global efforts to immunize people against COVID-19.

In March, India’s Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine maker and the main supplier of COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX, said it was postponing all exports of coronavirus vaccines to deal with the explosive surge of cases on the subcontinent. At the time, the World Health Organization and Gavi announced the delay would affect about 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but that they expected deliveries to resume by June.

“SII has delivered more than 200 million doses,” the company said in a statement posted to its Twitter account. It says in the past few days, there’s been “intense discussion” on the decision of the Indian government and vaccine manufacturers about the possible export of vaccines.

“We continue to scale up and prioritize India,” the company says. “We also hope to start delivering to COVAX and other countries by the end of the year.”

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