Gavi, a global alliance on vaccines, on Friday said that India would receive between 190 and 250 million fully subsidised doses of COVID-19 vaccine and funds up to $30 million for urgent technical assistance and cold chain equipment. A decision on the matter was taken by the COVAX Board in December, a Gavi spokesperson said.
Gavi, previously called Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation is a public-private global health partnership which is leading the global effort to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries.
"Gavi commits its full support to helping India come through its current crisis. In December 2020, the COVAX Board agreed that India would receive approximately 20 per cent of the total doses available to AMC (Advance Market Commitment)- eligible countries through the COVAX Facility - estimated at between 190 and 250 million fully-subsidised doses - subject to vaccine prices and available funds," a Gavi spokesperson told PTI.
"India is also to receive 20 per cent of the total funding available to AMC- eligible countries for urgent technical assistance and cold chain equipment, or $30 million," the spokesperson said. Responding to a question, Gavi acknowledged that the current crisis in India has impacted its vaccine supply chain given that the country has been a major producer and supplier of vaccines.
Much of COVAX's second quarter supplies were due to be fulfilled by the Serum Institute of India (SII). As SII focuses production towards domestic needs, this has inevitably led to a shortfall for other parts of the world, the spokesperson said.
As a result, COVAX is aiming to address this in the very short term by securing dose donations from high income economies that have a surplus, as well as working towards other short-medium term goals such as diversifying its portfolio of suppliers and decreasing bottlenecks that are currently hampering global production increases, the spokesperson noted.
Gavi welcomed the decision by the United States government to use all mechanisms to increase global equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. "We also recognise the significance of the (Biden) administration's commitment to work towards increasing raw material production which will have an immediate impact on alleviating current global supply constraints," the spokesperson said.
It is important now that in the interests of global equitable access, that the US supports manufacturers to transfer not only IP but also know-how in a bid to urgently boost global production, said the spokesperson.