Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has urged America to prioritize Nepal while distributing surplus vaccines among the developing nations.
The Foreign Ministry issuing a statement Monday said, Minister Gyawali talked with Deputy Secretary of State of the United States of America Wendy Sherman over the phone in the morning and discussed cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic including vaccines.
"Minister Gyawali conveyed the gratitude of the Government of Nepal to the United States for the generous COVID-related cooperation, which helped scale up the national capacity to address the pandemic. Commending the US leadership in garnering collaborative response against the global pandemic, the Foreign Minister requested the Deputy Secretary of State to accord due priority to Nepal during the distribution of surplus vaccines among the developing nations," the statement reads.
Deputy Secretary Sherman assured that the new US Administration will continue to extend cooperation in Nepal’s socioeconomic sector, including recent fight against the pandemic. "Appreciating the friendship the two countries have enjoyed over the decades, she hoped that key projects in the pipeline under US cooperation would open up further avenues of prosperity for Nepal," the statement adds.
US President Joe Biden last week said the US will share an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the world in the coming weeks as domestic demand for shots drops and global disparities in distribution have grown more evident.
The doses will come from existing production of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks, marking the first time that U.S.-controlled doses of vaccines authorized for use in the country will be shared overseas, the Associated Press reported. It will boost the global vaccine sharing commitment from the US to 80 million.
“We know America will never be fully safe until the pandemic that’s raging globally is under control,” Biden said at the White House.
The announcement comes on top of the Biden’s administration’s prior commitment to share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the US, by the end of June. The AstraZeneca doses will be available to ship once they clear a safety review by the Food and Drug Administration.