America has pledged to provide vaccines to Nepal to fight the raging COVID-19 pandemic Thursday.
The Biden Administration announced its framework for sharing the 80 million doses of vaccines it has pledged to provide to other countries. The announcement Thursday specifies the names of countries that will receive the first 25 million doses out of that.
"Approximately 7 million for Asia to the following countries and entities: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands," the fact sheet issued by the White House states.
It does not specify the exact number of doses or the brand of vaccines Nepal will get. But it is expected to be AstraZeneca vaccines that can be used to jab the older adults above 65 years who are waiting for the second dose having got the first dose of Covishield (AstraZeneca manufactured in India) more than two months back.
America had first announced it will share about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use there, 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.
It then pledged to provide another 20 million doses from the existing production of Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks.
"When Nepal is battling a dreadful wave of the pandemic, what can be a more welcome news than announcement by United States of COVID-19 vaccine support! Thank you @SecBlinken and the American people for this friendly gesture!" Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali tweeted Thursday night after the Biden Administration made the announcement.
American Ambassador to Nepal Randy Berry also took to Twitter after the announcement. " I join my fellow Americans, & all friends of Nepal, in celebrating the @WhiteHouse announcement that Nepal will be among the countries to receive direct vaccine donations from the United States. More details are coming soon! Together we will #beatthevirus," Berry tweeted.