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Africa CDC Says India Vaccine Woes Could Be ‘catastrophic’

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An AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is administered at the Ndirande Health Centre in Blantyre Malawi, Monday, March 29, 2021. Malawi is vaccinating health care workers, elderly and those with health conditions that put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19, using the AstraZeneca doses that arrived early in March. (AP Photo/Thoko Chikondi)

(AP) — The director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that Africa won’t meet its targets for COVID-19 vaccinations if delays continue at a key Indian manufacturer.

Dr. John Nkengasong told a press briefing Thursday that officials in Africa hope the problems will only be temporary at the Serum Institute of India. The vaccine supplier said recently that up to 90 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine destined for the COVAX program worldwide will be delayed through the end of April as India’s government grapples with a spike in infections.

The Africa CDC director said if it were to become an export ban rather than a delay, the consequences for Africa “would be catastrophic.”

 

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