COVID-19: US ships jabs to Bhutan, Nepal and Indonesia
The United States is shipping 3 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Indonesia, with an additional 1.5 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Nepal and 500,000 doses of Moderna to Bhutan, an official said on Friday. the White House.
The shipments are part of a pledge by US President Joe Biden’s administration to share a first batch of 80 million US-made vaccines around the world due to the wide disparity in vaccination rates between advanced countries and developing countries.
Last week, the administration announced plans to ship 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech to Malaysia.
Photo credit: Reuters / Antara Foto / Adiwinata Solihin
The shipment to Indonesia was among 4 million doses promised last week and is one of the largest US shipments of donated vaccines to date.
The remaining million doses would be shipped soon, the official said, adding that the United States was also moving forward with plans to step up aid for Indonesia’s broader response to COVID-19.
Indonesia has recorded 2.4 million cases of COVID-19 and 64,000 deaths, among the highest tolls in Asia. These have accelerated at an alarming rate, with the number of daily deaths doubling in the first week of this month.
The United States competes with China to deepen its geopolitical influence through “vaccine diplomacy,” but insists it is not sharing vaccines for favors or concessions, but for save lives and end the pandemic.
The United States has also announced plans to provide vaccines to other countries in Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
In addition to the 80 million doses, Washington has announced that it will purchase 500 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for distribution to the African Union and 92 low and lower middle income countries.
A White House official said science teams and legal and regulatory authorities have worked together to ensure the prompt delivery of safe and effective vaccine batches to Bhutan and Nepal.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday urged the United States, China and other G20 members, whose finance officials are meeting in Venice, Italy, this weekend, to speed up access vaccines around the world.
She warned of a worsening two-track recovery that threatened to leave developing countries far behind. Providing faster access to vaccines could potentially save more than half a million lives in the next six months alone, she said.
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