As the country grapples with the deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nepali Government has intensified its efforts to procure COVID-19 vaccines from various countries to control the spread.
Lately, the Nepali Government has placed its request before the American Government to facilitate the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).
Recently, former Health Minister Gagan Thapa had tweeted Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali to seek help from the US to procure vaccines. He said that the US is in a position to support other countries as the pandemic situation had improved significantly in the US lately.
Responding to the tweet, Minister Gyawali informed that the Ministry had completed the necessary process to procure COVID-19 vaccines from the US.
“I can confirm the request is in Washington. President Biden has made clear that as long as this virus is spreading anywhere, it is a threat to people everywhere. The US is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available,” said Anna Richey-Allen, Information Officer at the US Embassy in Nepal.
“I know that many countries are asking the United States to do more, some with growing desperation because of the scope and scale of their COVID emergencies. We hear you. And I promise we’re moving as fast as possible,” she added.
The US is the largest donor to COVAX, a global initiative to enable low-to-middle income countries equitable access to COVID-19 medicines, equipment, and vaccines. The US has already committed to providing USD 2 billion to the program, and another USD 2 billion to follow.
Nepal is among the first in Asia to receive COVAX donations.
The American Government recently announced an additional USD 8.5 million emergency response fund to Nepal to fight the second wave of the pandemic.