Covid: Vaccines running out in poorer nations, World Health Organization says

President Joe Biden speaks about reaching 300 million COVID-19 vaccination shots in the State Dining Room of the White House Friday

Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced the plan for the first 2.50 crore vaccine doses that the USA has already started shipping.

Ramaphosa said that across Africa, only 40 million doses had been administered so far - less than 2% of the continent's population.

"Doon sa 80 million na yun, we're going to get something like close to 800 (000) to 1 million na doses, either Moderna or AstraZeneca, from their stockpile which is expected to be given to us by next month", he said in a media briefing. Of the 25 million doses previously announced for donation nearly three weeks ago, about 5 million have been shipped to Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan. The report added that 75% of the doses would be allocated to Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa through the COVAX programme.

"We have plenty of doses to share with the world, but this is a Herculean logistical challenge", she told reporters, noting safety and regulatory information had to be shared, proper storage temperatures for the vaccines had to be ensured, and language barriers at times had to be overcome.

The big picture: President Biden and G7 leaders have pledged to send 1 billion doses to the developing world, including 500 million from the USA alone.

The Biden administration didn't say when the doses will start shipping. The doses will consist of Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines. Production problems at an Emergent BioSolutions factory in Baltimore have forced the administration to revise its initial plan to rely heavily on AstraZeneca's vaccine for that donation.

About 16 million will head to Asian countries, including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Taiwan and Cambodia. Another 100,000 crore jabs will be shared with African nations.

Approximately 41 million of the 55 million doses will be shared through COVAX, with 14 million for Latin American and Caribbean countries, 16 million for Asia, 10 million for Africa.

Global partners are eager to get USA help.

A large number of poorer countries receiving Covid-19 vaccines through a global sharing scheme do not have enough doses to continue programmes, the World Health Organization has said.

The sending 14 million doses to countries that the White House called "regional priorities", including Colombia, Argentina, Haiti, Afghanistan, South Africa, Nigeria, the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Georgia, Moldova and Bosnia.