Covax says needs $2 bn more by June for poor countries

The Covax global vaccine-sharing program said it needs two billion dollars in additional funding by the start of June to boost coronavirus inoculation programs in lower-income countries.

Covax said it has already delivered 70 million vaccine doses to 126 countries, but faces a shortfall of 190 million at the end of June because of the “severe impact on Covax’s supply in the second quarter of this year… (from) the terrible surge of the virus in India.”

India’s Serum Institute is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, producing 1.5 billion doses a year even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Even though Covax will have larger volumes available later in the year through the deals it has secured with several manufacturers, “if we do not address the current, urgent shortfall the consequences could be catastrophic,” the organisers warned.

Covax welcomed the vaccine pledges made so far by countries such as France, Germany, and Sweden.

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