WHO is ‘doing everything’ to help India with its COVID-19 crisis as GAVI waits for vaccine exports to begin again

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  • The massive surge of COVID-19 cases in India since March is ‘beyond heartbreaking’, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) chief.
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters that the apex health organisation is trying to do everything it can to help India in its time of need.
  • The ban on the export of vaccines by India has had an impact on the vaccines expected by the WHO’s vaccine alliance, GAVI.

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the surge of COVID-19 infections in India is ‘beyond heartbreaking’ drawing a press briefing on April 26.

The apex global health body has redeployed 2,600 of its staff members from other programmes in India to help out with the second wave of coronavirus in the country.

“WHO is doing everything we can, providing critical equipment and supplies, including thousands of oxygen concentrators, prefabricated mobile field hospitals and laboratory supplies.”

World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press briefing on April 26

The Serum Institute of India (SII) is the biggest manufacturer of vaccines in the world. And it’s a part of the WHO’s vaccine alliance, GAVI, which helps in delivering doses to some of the poorest parts of the world.

Of the 45 million COVID-19 vaccine doses provided by the WHO to 120 economies so far, most of them are the AstraZeneca vaccines made by SII.

India’s ban on the export of COVID-19 vaccine doses hits GAVI

Amid the surging cases of COVID-19 in India, the government banned all exports of the vaccine, which includes the ones made by SII for the WHO.


“We are waiting when supplies will resume, we are looking at other options at the same time,” said GAVI’s chief executive Seth Berkely. According to him, GAVI had expected 90 million doses for March and April for the 60 lowest income countries including India. But the delivery of those doses is yet to come through.

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