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Covid vaccine supply for global program exceeds demand for the first time


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The global Covid-19 vaccine-sharing project is struggling to allocate more than 300 million doses in the latest sign that the world’s vaccination problem is now more related to demand than supply.

Last year, rich countries took most of the vaccines available to immunize their citizens first, meaning that less than a third of people in low-income countries have been vaccinated so far, compared to more than 70% in low-income countries. richer.

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As supply and donations have increased, however, poorer countries are facing obstacles such as cold chain-related logistical gaps, hesitancy over vaccines and a lack of money to support distribution networks, public health officials told Reuters. .

In January, Covax, the global vaccine program run by the Gavi vaccine alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO), had 436 million vaccines to distribute to countries, according to a document published in mid-February.

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But low-income countries had ordered just 100 million doses for distribution by the end of May — the first time in 14 allocation rounds in which supply outstripped demand, the document by the Covax Independent Vaccine Allocation Group said.

A spokesperson for Gavi said Covax was now in a situation where there was enough current supply to meet demand, but acknowledged that vaccine delivery is an issue in several less developed countries.

“We will only close the vaccine equity gap once and for all if we can help countries deploy vaccines quickly and at scale,” the spokesperson said.

Vaccines that are not distributed by Covax this round may be allocated later.

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