Houston Chronicle

Drug giant is told to keep vaccine at home

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The CEO of the Indian pharmaceut­ical giant that dozens of countries are counting on to supply them with COVID-19 vaccines said Sunday that their deliveries might be delayed because it had been “directed” to fill domestic needs before export orders.

India produces three-fifths of the world’s supply of all kinds of vaccines, and the country’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, has launched one of the world’s largest and most ambitious vaccinatio­n campaigns, aiming to inoculate India’s 1.3 billion people.

Besides helping supply India and other clients, the company is expected to produce hundreds of millions of doses of the AstraZenec­a vaccine and more than 1 billion Novovax vaccines to be distribute­d through the global vaccinatio­n initiative COVAX, which aims to ensure that 92 low- and middle-income countries receive vaccines at the same time as the world’s 98 richest countries. COVAX did not immediatel­y respond to requests for comment about the alert that foreign countries would have to wait for vaccines.

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