India’s COVID-19 Spread Impacting COVAX Vaccine Program


Early data suggests vaccines are effective against B.1.617.2 variant first discovered in India.

This article was originally published in ContagionLive.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout India, the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program is beginning to see an impact 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 UK’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.


406.94 million

28.27 per 100

United States

273.55 million

81.79 per 100


182.25 million

13.21 per 100

United Kingdom

56.68 million

83.49 per 100


52.77 million

24.83 per 100


39.41 million

47.04 per 100


28.92 million

42.81 per 100


27.42 million

45.34 per 100


23.97 million

16.43 per 100


22.72 million

8.31 per 100

Data Table per Our World in Data (May 17, 2021, 12 AM EST)

In the US, 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.



88.87 per 100



73.04 per 100

New York


92.15 per 100



80.68 per 100



90.28 per 100



84.47 per 100



79.49 per 100

New Jersey


94.10 per 100



80.83 per 100

North Carolina


73.76 per 100

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:

Sanofi and GSK COVID-19 Vaccine Shows Positive Interim Results in Phase 2 Study

The Global COVID-19 Situation

Immunocompromised Patients Show Robust T-Cell Activity Against SARS-CoV-2

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