10 million doses from India won’t impact poor nations’ vaccine access: UK
On Friday, UK Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi defended a shipment of 10 million doses of Covishield shipping from India. This shipment took place amid some concerns that it would impact supplies of the vaccines for poorer nations.
UK Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi is in charge of monitoring the vaccination programme in UK. In an interview on Friday, Zahawi said that the vaccine doses which are developed by Serum Institute of India, in collaboration with Oxford/AstraZeneca, were always intended for Britain.
While clarifying that it was made sure that the delivery would not impact other supplies, Zahawi said, “We, of course, sought assurances from AstraZeneca and from Serum that our doses will not impact their commitment to the low-income and middle-income countries of the world.”
He further added, “And they are making about 300 million doses available to low- and middle-income countries. You’ve seen those arrive in Accra in Ghana, last week and the Philippines this week… and Ivory Coast as well. And you’re going to see much more of that volume also going out.”
Non-governmental organizations were concerned that shipments en route from India would reduce supplies to developing countries. Zahawi reiterated that this was not the case. He insisted that supplies across the globe would also be deployed through the United Nations-backed Covax system.
UK has got the rights to around 457 million doses of various vaccines. This is the estimated value which is 3 times the total needed to fully vaccinate the country. The leftover doses may be offered through bilateral relationships.
On Friday, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that as of midnight on Thursday, 21.3 million people have been vaccinated in the UK. The number is two fifths of the entire adult population of the country. The government of Britain has decided to inoculate all adults with at least one of two-dose vaccines till July end.
Till now, 124,495 people have been killed in UK due to the coronavirus. The country has over 4.3 million confirmed cases.