GENEVA — The head of UNICEF on Monday asked G7 countries to donate supplies to the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme as an emergency measure to address a severe shortfall caused by disruption to Indian vaccine exports.
India has curbed exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by its Serum Institute, which had been pledged to COVAX, to be used by the country as it battles a massive second wave of infections.
United Nations agency UNICEF, which is in charge of supplying coronavirus vaccines through COVAX, estimates the supply shortfall at 140 million doses by the end of May and about 190 million by the end of June.
“Sharing immediately available excess doses is a minimum, essential and emergency stop-gap measure, and it is needed right now,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, adding that this could help to prevent vulnerable countries from becoming the next global hotspot.
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