NEW DELHI—India has temporarily suspended vaccine exports as the government gives priority to an expansion of its domestic immunization campaign, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that threatens to disrupt the distribution of doses to the developing world.
India’s biggest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India, has been supplying millions of doses of AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine to countries around the world, as well as Covax, the United Nations-backed effort to provide vaccines to poor countries.
Gavi, a global health organization involved in the Covax , said said the Serum Institute was contracted to supply doses to over 60 lower-income countries. Vaccine deliveries to participating nations “will face delays during March and April as the Government of India battles a new wave of Covid-19 infections,” Gavi said.
Covax was expecting 40 million additional doses in March, and up to 50 million doses in April, Gavi said. Covax has already supplied 28 million vaccine doses.
AstraZeneca didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.