The world has now crossed 1 billion total vaccines administered.
Breaking it down: Nearly half of those have come in the U.S. (29%), EU (13%) and U.K. (5%), with other rich countries also sprinting ahead. Another 22% have come in China and 14% in India. Africa, meanwhile, represents just 1.6% of vaccinations to date.
One reason is that the COVAX initiative, designed to ensure that every country has access to vaccines, is just 16% of the way to its distribution target for the first half of 2021.
- That's due in large part to the fact that India — by far the largest provider of COVAX doses — went from exporting 77% of its production before March 15 to 7% over the past month, per Airfinity. India has curbed exports to fight the surge at home.
- If India continues to keep nearly all of its production, Airfinity projects there would be enough supply to cover people over 60 by May and the entire adult population by November.
- But African CDC Director John Nkengasong and other public health officials have called on India to lift the export restrictions, noting that a prolonged delay could be catastrophic for countries that are counting on COVAX.
What to watch: The main issue facing COVAX right now isn’t funding but securing reliable sources of vaccines.
- It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will share the 60 million AstraZeneca doses it plans to export through COVAX or bilateral arrangements with individual countries.