Many countries forced to suspend vaccine programme: WHO
"We have a huge number of countries that have had to suspend their rollout of their second doses of vaccine," said Bruce Aylward, the WHO's frontman for the international Covax scheme which provides vaccine doses to poorer countries.
Countries around India, like Nepal and Sri Lanka, have been "particularly hit hard" and face "a severe wave of disease", he added.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), producing AstraZeneca doses, was supposed to be the backbone of Covax's supply chain -- but India restricted exports to combat its own devastating coronavirus surge.
"We are now urgently trying to work with AstraZeneca itself, as well as SII, the government in India to restart those shipments so that we can get those second doses into those populations because we are running to a longer interval than we would have liked in that regard," said Aylward.
On Monday, the WHO warned that coronavirus is moving faster than the vaccines, and that the G7 nations' vow to provide a billion doses for poorer nations is simply not enough.
In Africa only about one percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to WHO figures.