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COVAX: US welcomes shipment of 2.5mn vaccine doses to B’desh

Published on: 11:36 am - Saturday | July 3, 2021

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US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller has welcomed the arrival of 2.5 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as a gift from American people delivered through COVAX.

The shipment of vaccine doses from the US was delivered on Friday night and Saturday morning through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, reports UNB.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque received the first consignment of the 2.5 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday night.

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Mian also welcomed the arrival with Ambassador Miller.

The United States said it is committed to leading the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and this summer, they will begin allocating the 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine it is providing to Gavi for distribution by COVAX to countries around the world.

This is the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect people around the world from Covid-19, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Saturday.

US President Joe Biden reaffirmed this commitment by announcing the US will donate 80 million doses of vaccine to support global needs.

The US is working with its G7 partners, the EU, COVAX, and others in a multilateral effort focused on saving lives, ending the pandemic, and supporting the global economic recovery.

The United States made an initial $2 billion donation of a total planned $4 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to support the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which accelerates access toCovid-19 vaccines, making the United States the largest donor for equitable global Covid-19 vaccine access.

COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) is a worldwide initiative to facilitate global access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.

“This gift from the American people of 2.5 million vaccine doses is just the latest demonstration of US commitment to Covid-19 assistance to Bangladesh. The United States is the largest donor to Bangladesh’s pandemic response efforts. We’ll continue to donate surplus supply, as it becomes available,” said Ambassador Miller. ”We’re doing this with the singular objective of saving lives, and because it’s the right thing to do.”

The US contributions to COVAX, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), will support the purchase and delivery of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations in 92low- and middle-income countries, said the US Embassy.

This support is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of new variants, and helping restart the global economy, it said.

The United States continues to work closely with Bangladesh to protect the health of Bangladeshis and strengthen the government’s response to Covid-19, contributing over $84 million to date in Covid-related development and humanitarian assistance from USAID, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This assistance has helped save lives and treat individuals infected with Covid-19, strengthened testing capacity and monitoring, enhanced case management and infection prevention and control practices, and improved the supply chain and logistics management systems, said the Embassy.

The US support also focuses on protecting frontline workers and increasing the public’s knowledge about Covid-19.

Additional US Covid response assistance included supplying 100 state-of-the-art US manufactured ventilators; gas analyzers to allow Bangladesh to produce its own ventilators; oxygen cylinders, pulse oximeters, and tens of thousands of pieces of locally produced personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers across Bangladesh, including remote areas.

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