Mumbai and Gujarat suspend vaccination drives due to tropical cyclone Tauktae.
The ongoing COVID-19 crisis in India is beginning to impact the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program, due to a shortage of doses from the Serum Institute of India. The Institute is the world’s largest vaccine producer and has had a soaring demand for its shots due to the domestic situation where cases of the disease are increasing. The Institute was supposed to deliver 140 million doses to COVAX under an agreement, but will not be able to meet it. In addition, UNICEF also stated that another 50 million doses are likely to be missed in June.
In Kenya, the vaccine campaign that began in March which prioritized frontline and essential workers has only administered shots to 2% of its total population. The country was promised 3.6 million doses of AstraZeneca by May from COVAX, but have only received just over 1 million of them. This has caused delays in second dose administration and physicians are now worried it that the shortage will cost lives.
Lastly, Matt Hancock, the United Kingdom’s health secretary, has stated that early data suggests COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variant first discovered in India. The variant, B.1.617.2 has been spreading in some parts of the UK, including England, Scotland and Wales.
Data Table per Our World in Data (May 17, 2021, 12 AM EST)
In the United States, cases of COVID-19 in the northeast of the country are dropping significantly. States like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are seeing steady declines in case numbers after having some of the highest during the winter. Many experts and officials are crediting this to high vaccination rates of the region.
Data Table per CDC COVID-19 Tracker (May 17, 2021, 6 AM EST)
For more information on COVID-19 vaccination research, distribution, and assessment, check out some of these recent Contagion stories: