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India to delay AstraZeneca vaccine exports, including doses for Canada: report

Medical staff prepares an AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine during preparations at the vaccine center in Ebersberg near Munich, Germany, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Summary

India temporarily holding shipments of AstraZeneca vaccines to meet domestic demand: report

Canada expecting 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine made in India

International trade minister's office says there's no indication at this time that our supply chains will be interrupted

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Canada could face another disruption in vaccine deliveries as India is temporarily holding off on major exports of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to an exclusive report from Reuters.

The country is said to be holding shipments of vaccines from the Serum Institute — the largest vaccine producer in the world — to meet domestic demand. COVID-19 infection rates have spiked in India, which is struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The problem for Canada is that we are still expecting 1.5 million doses of the AstraZenca vaccine from that facility.

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According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, the last shipment of COVID-19 vaccines were dispatched on March 2.

Calls and emails to the procurement ministers office have not been immediately returned. However, a spokesperson for the international trade minister says there’s no indication at this time that our supply chains will be interrupted. Officials are carefully monitoring the situation, they add.

This comes in the wake of the European Union moving towards imposing stricter export controls for vaccines, to make sure there are more doses for its citizens.

The European Commission says it will centre its attention on the U.K.

The Trudeau government has previously said it has received assurances that our country will not be caught in the cross-fire and our vaccine deliveries from Pfizer and Moderna will continue.