Despite efforts to procure Covid vaccine, some nations will only vaccinate 20% of population

There are triumphant scenes as lorries leave a vaccine plant in Pune, India, loaded with boxes that will prevent thousands of deaths. Adar Poonawalla, the owner and chief executive of the Serum Institute of India, poses on the tailgate of a truck, making the most of his company’s “proud and historic” moment as the potential saviour of the nation – and even a large chunk of the world.

Poonawalla’s factory, the largest vaccine manufacturing complex in the world, is the best hope for immunisation for people in Africa and some other low-income countries – which could save them from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. The Serum Institute has contracted to supply the UN-backed Covax initiative, which subsidise low-income countries, with 200m doses of Covid-19 vaccines with an option on 900m more.

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