We're Live Bangla Thursday, June 17, 2021

BANGLADESH, 15 OTHER COUNTRIES TO GET 70 LAKH COVID-19 VACCINES FROM US UNDER COVAX

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According to a White House fact sheet, nearly 19 million (1.9 crore) doses of Covid-19 vaccines will be shared by the US through COVAX, out of which approximately seven million (70 lakh) are for Bangladesh and 15 other Asian countries.

Meanwhile, Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said India will be a "significant recipient" of US Covid-19 vaccines, reports our New Delhi correspondent.

The other countries to which these vaccines will be supplied by the US are Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands, it said.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that the US will allocate 75 percent -- nearly 1.9 crore of the first tranche of 2.5 crore doses -- of unused vaccines from its stockpile through the UN-backed COVAX global vaccine sharing programme to countries in South and Southeast Asia as well as Africa.

The first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines from the United States will reach India by June-end, White House Chief Spokesperson Symone Sanders has said.

Sanders in a brief statement said that the US Vice President Kamala D Harris had spoken on phone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

In New Delhi, the statement issued by the Indian PMO said Harris informed Modi about US plans to make vaccines against Covid-19 available to other countries, including India, under its "strategy for global vaccine sharing". However, there was no mention of a timeline in the Indian statement, reports our New Delhi correspondent

Harris also spoke with President Andres Manuel López Obrador of Mexico, President Alejandro Giammattei of Guatemala and Prime Minister Keith Rowley, Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in separate calls.

The Vice President conveyed to each of the leaders, "that the Biden-Harris Administration will begin sharing the first 25 million doses of Covid vaccines to their respective countries and others, as part of the Biden-Harris Administration's framework for sharing at least 80 million vaccines globally by the end of June," Sanders said.

Harris "reiterated that the (Biden) Administration's efforts are focused on achieving broad global coverage, responding to surges and other urgent situations and public health needs and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines."

"The four leaders thanked the Vice President, and they agreed to continue working together to address COVID-19 and advance our mutual interests around the world," according to Sanders.

The Indian prime minister expressed his appreciation to Vice President Harris for the US decision as well as for all other forms of support and solidarity that India has received in recent days from the US government, businesses and the Indian expatriate community in the US, according to the PMO statement.