US hands over 3m more Moderna jabs to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The United States has officially handed over the second batch of three million Moderna Covid-19 doses to Pakistan to help in its fight against the pandemic.

“Today, the United States was pleased to donate three million doses of the life-saving Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to the Government of Pakistan for distribution to the Pakistani people. These vaccines were delivered in partnership with the COVAX facility and UNICEF,” read an official statement issued on Thursday.

The US-donated jabs reached Islamabad on Monday through the COVAX facility with the Unicef support.

The official statement said the donation is part of the 80 million doses the US is sharing with the world, “delivering on our pledge to facilitate equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines, which are essential to ending the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“As President Biden has said the United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts that we have demonstrated at home,” the statement added.

“We are here today because we share a common goal – supporting access to Covid-19 vaccines for the populations that need them the most,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Angela P Aggeler at a handover ceremony with Prime Minister Special Assistant on Health Dr Faisal Sultan.

“The arrival of these three million doses is in addition to the 2.5 million doses the United States donated earlier this month to the people of Pakistan. These vaccines, which come from our own domestic vaccine supply, are a clear demonstration of President Biden’s promise – and our promises kept – to stand with the people of Pakistan in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The communiqué said the US has delivered more than $50 million in Covid-19 assistance through its partnership with the Pakistani government.

Since the start of the pandemic, the US has worked together with Pakistan to improve infection prevention and control, enhance patient care, expand laboratory testing, disease monitoring, and case tracking in all districts, and support frontline healthcare workers, it added.

Earlier this month, the US government provided 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to the Pakistani people, for a total of 5.5 million doses from the US’ own vaccine supply.

Separately, Washington through USAID has contributed $2 billion to support COVAX, making the US the single largest contributor to global Covid-19 vaccine access. Pakistan has received 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine since May as part of the COVAX effort.

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