U.S. vaccines may be able to make up for India's export controls: World Bank president

The head of the World Bank says that while a shortage of vaccine supply remains the biggest hurdle to inoculating people in the developing world, increased production in the United States may be able to meet growing demand.

David Robert Malpass says announcement on investment in vaccine production in developing world coming shortly

Head of World Bank on global vaccine equity and the economic legacy of pandemic

1 year ago
Duration 9:03
"If you have excess doses this month and next month, release them as quickly as you can," says David Malpass, the President of the World Bank. He and leaders of several global organizations are urging countries to take more actions, ahead of the G7 summit, to ensure vaccine equity.

The president of the World Bank says that while a shortage of vaccines remains the biggest obstacle to inoculating people in the developing world, increased production in the United States may be able to meet growing demand. 

"We, the World Bank, have programs in 28 countries now and very quickly [we will have] 50 countries ready to provide capacity to actually administer vaccines. But still, the delivery schedules are the biggest challenge," David Robert Malpass told CBC News Network's Power & Politics in an interview airing today.

Malpass said that India's decision to restrict exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India after a terrifying second wave started to sweep across the country has been a significant factor in the vaccine shortage in developing nations.

"But the good news side — the production runs in the U.S. have exceeded people's high hopes. And so, the volumes of vaccines available are going up. And there should be some way to balance that," he told guest host David Common. 

While the World Trade Organization is considering a proposal to waive patents on vaccines, Malpass said, the World Bank instead supports licensing vaccine patents to developing countries and providing funding to support production.

"The part of the World Bank called the International Finance Corporation has funding and makes debt and equity investments in companies in the developing world to make vaccines. And we'll be making announcements on that over the next two weeks," he said.

You can watch full episodes of Power & Politics on CBC Gem, the CBC's streaming service.

With files from the CBC's David Common

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?