Amid concerns of vaccine shortage, WHO says COVAX to deliver doses to nations by mid-2021 despite short supply
United Nations: With the coronavirus pandemic resurging at a worse rate than what it was in 2020, the demand for its cure is increasing exponentially with each passing day. This is also putting extreme amounts of pressure on vaccine manufacturers are the facilities were not prepared to counter the overwhelming demand as we see today due to the re-emergence of the Covid-19 outbreak.However, the World Health Organization believes that the COVAX vaccine facility could deliver the doses to all participating nations who have requested it by the first half of this year, despite struggling with enough supply as well as increasing demand for the shots in India.The COVAX facility is a global initiative to ensure Covid-19 vaccines are available worldwide. It has till now delivered the life-saving vaccines to more than 100 countries since making its first international delivery to Ghana on 24 February 2021.As of now, more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (world’s largest vaccine manufacturer) – have been delivered.“Despite reduced supply availability in March and April, the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimizing their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for Covid-19 vaccines in India, COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year,” the WHO said in a release on Thursday.Of the over 100 countries, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).COVAX aims to supply vaccines despite some delays in planned deliveries for March and April.“As per the latest supply forecast, COVAX expects to deliver at least two billion doses of vaccines in 2021. In order to reach this goal, the COVAX facility will continue to diversify its portfolio further, and will announce new agreements with vaccine manufacturers in due course,” the WHO release added, according to news agency PTI.