Kathmandu: In its continuous support to help Nepal fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States on Monday donated 1.53 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The United States donated vaccines are being delivered to the Nepali people in partnership with the COVAX global vaccine initiative and UNICEF.

“These vaccines will not only save lives and help Nepal emerge from this pandemic, but they will also help to recover economic losses and regain the opportunity to safely visit with our friends, families, and neighbors,” said the United States Ambassador Randy Berry. 

Berry said it is a gift and no cost from the American people.  “We won’t trade shots in arms for political favors. This is about saving lives.”

“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. Our vaccines do not come with strings attached. Our terms are open and transparent: namely, we are doing this with the singular objective of saving lives,” he added. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has delivered nearly $70 million in ongoing COVID-19 assistance to Nepal. 

“This includes $55 million mobilized by USAID for oxygen cylinders, breathing devices, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, treatment, personal protective equipment, and infection prevention.  The United States Department of Defense has provided over $7.3 million for isolation and disaster camps, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators and medical equipment and gear for health clinics and health care workers,” the US Embassy said in a statement. 

The CPN-UML President KP Sharma Oli thanked US President Biden and said, “The US handed over today more than 15,34,850 doses of J&J vaccines to help Nepal fight against COVID-19. I express sincere gratitude to POTUS, the Gov and people of the US for this generous cooperation and solidarity.”

The United States has also pledged $4 billion to support COVAX with the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries.

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