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Vaccines Galore—But, It’s the Infrastructure, Stupid!

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EIRNS—The historic Serum Institute of India, the primary supplier of the COVAX distribution system for COVID-19 vaccines to underdeveloped countries, is cutting back their production of vaccines. Serum’s CEO Adar Poonawalla announced on India’s CNBC-TV18 on Dec. 8 that they are nearing fulfillment of their domestic orders for India, having provided almost 1.2 billion doses of their Covishield vaccine for jabs in India. And they have another 500 million doses in a stockpile. This comes close to enough jabs for the adult population of India. He said that he never thought he would be saying this, in the middle of a pandemic, but they are lacking orders for vaccines. As such, they are cutting back production of vaccines by 50% until orders pick up.

Poonawalla indicated that the problem is not so much money. (Their Covishield, India’s version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, is sold at a relatively low cost.) He stated that the orders are “very slow” because the COVAX distribution operation is severely limited in its ability to distribute the jabs, primarily due to poor infrastructure in underdeveloped countries. While it should not be a surprise—as underdeveloped pretty much means poor infrastructure—the glaring omission of the developed countries to address the lack of infrastructure has now come to the fore. The result: Too many vaccine doses for too little health-infrastructure.