India typically produces more than 60% of all vaccines sold globally, and is home to the Serum Institute of India (SII), the globe’s largest vaccine maker.
Under an initial agreement announced last year, the SII would manufacture up to 200 million doses for up to 92 countries. But the situation in India has changed dramatically since then, Jessie Yeung and Esha Mitra write.
States and cities are imposing new restrictions, including weekend and nighttime curfews in the capital region of Delhi, home to 19 million people.
Through it all, vaccine supplies have dried up on the ground, with at least five states reporting severe shortages and urging India’s federal government to act. To date, only 14.3 million people have been fully vaccinated — just over 1% of the country’s population of 1.3 billion, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In the face of crisis, the government and SII have shifted focus from supplying vaccines to COVAX to prioritizing their own citizens at home.
Subsequent delays will hit developing countries that were expecting deliveries. The director of Africa’s disease control body warned India’s hold on exports could be “catastrophic” for the continent, while Pakistan, one of the biggest program recipients, decided to allow private vaccine imports and sales to fill the gap.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q. If I already had Covid-19, should I still get vaccinated?
A. “Yes. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that reinfection with COVID-19 is possible, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19 infection,” the CDC says.
“Experts do not yet know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19.”
In some cases, a vaccine might give stronger protection than antibodies produced after being infected, epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant said. . Young people can also transmit the virus to more vulnerable people. Here’s what else to know about Covid-19 vaccines.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Demand for shots is slowing in parts of the US
Doctors home in on cause of blood clots potentially linked with Covid-19 vaccines
A team led by Dr. Marie Scully, a hematologist at University College London Hospitals, studied 22 patients who developed rare blood clots after receiving AstraZeneca’s vaccine, and found they had an unusual antibody response. These so-called anti-PF4 antibodies had only been seen before as a rare reaction to the use of the common blood thinner heparin.
If vaccination can cause the condition, it would be important to recognize that and treat it appropriately — because the usual treatment for blood clots is not recommended for VITT. Patients should be given anti-clotting drugs, but not heparin, and infusions of a blood product called intravenous immunoglobulin may replace the depleted platelets.
Brazil asks women ‘if possible’ to delay pregnancy over Covid variants
“We do not have a national or international study, but the clinical view of experts shows that the new variant has a more aggressive action on pregnant women,” Secretary of Primary Health Care of the Brazilian health ministry Raphael Camara said Friday.
ON OUR RADAR
- The British royal family adhered strictly to local Covid-19 regulations during the funeral of Prince Philip, which meant the Queen had to sit alone during the service for her husband of 73 years.
- Pregnant women “of any age” in the United Kingdom will be offered either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, according to new advice published Friday.
- The global Covid-19 death toll has passed 3 million. The United States has reported the highest number of deaths, followed by Brazil and Mexico.
- A body that later tested positive for Covid-19 washed ashore on the Pacific island country of Vanuatu. It banned outward travel from its main island in response.
- The United Kingdom is set to trial a non-socially distanced outdoor concert with 5,000 attendees in a bid to get audiences back to live events safely this summer.
- Canada is scrambling to deal with a punishing third wave of the pandemic as several provinces have broken records for new daily Covid-19 cases, as well as hospital and intensive care admissions.
- Phoenix nonprofits are on a quest to vaccinate 500 homeless people in five days.
TODAY’S TOP TIP
Check the fit on that double mask if you want to be better protected against Covid-19.
“The love and concern I feel for my family in Zambia is just as valuable as the love and concern an American feels for their American family or a European for theirs.” — Melissa Mahtani, senior producer and reporter for CNN’s live news team