India has decided not to allow Serum Institute to export of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine for several months.
The ban on exports means that poorer nations will probably have to wait a few months before receiving their first shots.
In an interview with AP, India's Serum Institute's CEO Adar Poonawalla said, "The vaccine has been granted emergency authorisation by the Indian regulator on Sunday, but on the condition that Serum Institute doesn't export the shots to ensure that vulnerable populations in India are protected."
"We can only give the vaccines to the government of India at the moment," Poonawalla said, adding the decision was also made to prevent hoarding.
He further said that the company also has been barred from selling the vaccine in the private market.
Earlier in the day, Serum Institute of India said it intends to concentrate on meeting India's own immediate demand in the next two months before exporting to other interested countries.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine secured approval from India's drug regulator on Friday for emergency use, paving the way for its rollout in the world's second worst affected country.
After India's Oxford nod, Bangladesh was closer to the jab. Bangladesh's health ministry hoped to get the vaccine by January.
Besides, Serum was planning to give 200 to 300 million doses of the vaccine to COVAX by December 2021.
The ban on exports, however, means that poorer nations will probably have to wait a few months before receiving their first shots.
Earlier on 5 November, Bangladesh signed an agreement with the Serum Institute and Beximco Pharmaceuticals for availing 3 core doses of Covidshield, a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford.
In the initial six months of the first phase, Serum was supposed to provide 50 lakh vaccine doses per month to Bangladesh through Beximco.
However, India's sudden ban on the life-saving vaccine will prolong the fight against the dreaded coronavirus.