UNICEF says the measure would address deficits after India halted projected exports to cover its own growing outbreak.
The head of UNICEF, the United Nations agency for children, has called on G7 countries to donate excess COVID-19 vaccine supplies to the global COVAX sharing scheme as an emergency measure to fix a severe deficit after slowing India’s exports.
India had promised supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced by its Serum Institute to COVAX, but to devastating increase in cases at home has restricted exports.
UNICEF, which is responsible for supplying coronavirus vaccines through COVAX, estimates that the shortage of supply will reach 140 million doses by the end of May and 190 million by the end of June.
“Sharing overdoses available immediately is a minimum, essential and emergency measure, and is needed right now,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said on Monday, adding that the measure could help prevent for vulnerable countries to become the next global access point.
G7 leaders will meet in Britain next month. The United States and Canada, both members of the group, are among the countries that have done so vaccines authorized for over 12 years of age in recent weeks.
Last week, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) last week condemned the “moral catastrophe” of vaccine inequity, and urged rich countries to give doses instead of using them for children who are less vulnerable to serious illness.
Citing new research from science and analytics company Airfinity, UNICEF’s Fore said G7 countries could give about 153 million doses if they shared only 20% of the supply available during the months of June, July and August. .
This could be done without failing to meet commitments to vaccinate their own populations.
COVAX, jointly managed by the WHO and the GAVI vaccine alliance, is largely dependent on the AstraZeneca feature, which accounts for most of the vaccines intended for early deployment, as it wants to provide two billion doses this year .
UNICEF said other manufacturing limitations outside India had also slowed the supply of doses of COVAX, but those delays are expected to be resolved by the end of June.