India suffers vaccine shortages as virus surges

India’s vaccination program is reportedly experiencing problems having administered 90 million shots so far in a population of 1.3 billion people.

Ten states have stocks that will last only four more days, including Uttar Pradesh, home to about 200 million people.

In Maharashtra, the current epicentre of India’s epidemic and home to megacity Mumbai, the state health minister issued a dire warning, saying supplies would run out in three days unless replenished.

The head of India’s Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine maker by volume, said on that production capacity was “very stressed” and it called for financial help from the government.

Poorer countries, as well as some rich nations, have relied heavily on Serum for supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine but last month New Delhi put the brakes on exports to prioritise domestic needs. It will only resume exports in the next two months “once the situation in India cools off.”

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