BREAKING: India delays big exports of AstraZeneca shot as infections surge, say sources

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) to meet demand at home as infections rise, two sources told Reuters.

The move will also affect supplies to the GAVI/WHO-backed COVAX vaccine-sharing facility through which more than 180 countries are expected to get doses, one of the sources said.

COVAX has so far received 17.7 million AstraZeneca doses from SII, of the 60.5 million doses India has shipped in total, and many countries are relying on the programme to immunise their citizens.

There has been no vaccine export from India since Thursday, the foreign ministry’s website here shows, as the country expands its own immunisation effort.

“Everything else has taken a backseat, for the time being at least,” said one of the sources. Both sources had direct knowledge of the matter, but declined to be named as the discussions are not public.

“No exports, nothing till the time the India situation stabilises. The government won’t take such a big chance at the moment when so many need to be vaccinated in India.”

India’s foreign ministry and SII, the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. I hope this is a false story.Because many in Antigua and Barbuda got their first shots of Astra Zeneca Vaccines.They need those shipments from India to help with the second shots.I did hear on the news.That Astra Zenneca is using out dated data.To push their Vaccines to be authorized for use in the USA.So that Vaccine would not be authorized until all data are updated satisfactory.

  2. Where is England “Great Britain” ? They are so quite… India didn’t conquer the Caribbean hundreds of years ago! Just wondering

  3. I hope this does not mean that Antigua will not be getting the vaccine it needs to vaccinate all 27,000 people who got their first jabs. If that turns out to be the case, the Cabinet will have screwed 7,000 people royally out of their second shots.

  4. Trust not in the cabinet it will fail and screw up on alot of things, actually the cabinet is one man the rest is yes man

  5. The Chief Medical Officer advised Cabinet to stop at 20,000 vaccinations to make sure they had enough for all second jabs. But Cabinet think they know better than the experts, as they always do. Look at how they continually override the Ministry of Environment experts. Everyone could see how hard it is to get vaccines and there was never a guarantee that Covax would deliver. Max Hurst said Covax would deliver in February. Then again in March. Then April. Now? Maybe Neveruary. Thanks Cabinet members. If there is a second jab vaccine shortage due to your short-sighted decision, I hope Cabinet members will accept the consequences of their decision and refuse a second jab so that others who did not make that stupid decision can get their second jab. Then again, I am sure they will all take their second jabs before anyone else in secret.

    • Boss hold your horses, why act like the sky is falling. There is at least 60 days left to get some 12K AZ vaccines (we have vaccinated a little less than 26 k persons out of the 40K we had). Yet watch you act like time run out and wrongly think it then means the first dose was wasted. Fact is some places (eg British Columbia) are even recommending a 16 week interval vs 12 weeks

      • @tenman.
        Suggest you listen to BBC interview with Indian minister aide responsible for Indian vaccine export and let your horses run.
        1. India has exported 60m vaccines to 80 countries. USA has exported ZERO of vaccines they are producing & are currently second largest manufacturer of approved vaccines.
        2. India has vaccinated 50m Indians with their first jab. Note they exported more than they have used.
        3. India’s current surge is impossible to predict regarding length & numbers.
        4. The Aide ‘imagines’ export of Serum Institute AstraZeneca MIGHT begin LIMITED export in very late April, more likely mid-late May DEPENDING ON DOMESTIC DEMAND.

        We are in a GLOBAL fight for vaccines. We are a miniscule country. Let’s keep this real.

        Will the red one who must be obeyed become a magician? Only time will tell.

    • @disappointed. Totally agree.
      PM overruled sound pragmatic decision by CMO & medical leaders.
      We KNEW at that time, and for 2-weeks prior, COVAX shipments were delayed 2 or 3 times in other countries, including Jamaica.
      We KNEW Canada & UK had joined the requests for millions of doses from the Serum Institute.
      We KNEW.
      YET the PM always wants to know better – well mister, you’d better work magic in your red beret & jacket to get AstraZeneca Serum Institute version here before Easter (directly or through a broker which will be more expensive, but you have a healthy vaccine money chest) to ensure all the people who were vaccinated’ get their second shot on time at 12-weeks. DO NOT TAKE OUR HEALTH LIGHTLY – right now you creating collective hypertension.
      YOUR ability is being scrutinized by many hesitant folks and your actions not words in the next week will likely make or break the success of vaccine roll-out to people who did not receive one shot of AstraZeneca.

      And while you’re at it, any news on when the 100,000 Sinopharm you boasted of, will be on island?
      And the Sputnik V you boasted of?

  6. Tenman: You say.We have vaccinated a little less than 26k out of 40k we had.To whom do you refer as “WE”.I did not realize.You were a part of the Cabinet and or a Substantive Minister.Like Sidelines.

  7. COVID-19 is a business, and just like in any business decision’s are make based upon ‘loss and gain!’
    …some will lose
    …some will die
    …some will look to the sky
    …some will cry
    …and, some will die!

    We are in a COVID-19 business and physical #War. Survival of the fittest from the trenches to the boardrooms!

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