The Japanese-made AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Kathmandu today. Ambassador KIKUTA Yutaka attended the hand-over ceremony at the Tribhuvan International Airport with the State Minister of Health and Population Umesh Shrestha.
During the handing over ceremony Joint Secretary of North East Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lok Bahadur Thapa, Representative of UNICEF Nepal, Elke Wisch and WHO Representative to Nepal, Dr. Rajesh Sambhajirao Pandav were also present.
This vaccine donation from Japan for Nepal through COVAX facility was announced by Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on 13 July. The remaining half of 1.6 million doses pledged by Japan will be shipped to Kathmandu shortly, once the arrangements of the relevant organizations are finalized.
At the hand-over ceremony, Ambassador Kikuta stated that this donation is “From the People of Japan for the Friendship with Nepal.” He also appreciated the cooperation of all the relevant organizations to achieve this, including the Government of Nepal and international organizations such as COVAX, GAVI, WHO and UNICEF. He also mentioned that the Government of Japan strongly supports the vaccination campaign by the Deuba administration, which is necessary for the progress of post-COVID Nepali society and its economic recovery.
“We hope that this vaccine, together with other generous contributions from the international community, will help Nepal to ease down various difficulties caused by the COVID-19,” Ambassador stated. Japan has been providing various support for Nepal to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic with medical equipment for Nepali hospitals to date, the Embassy of Japan will continue working together with Nepal to overcome the pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first batch of about 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID vaccines provided by the Government of Japan to Nepal through COVAX facility arrived in Kathmandu this morning. KIKUTA Yutaka, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, handed over the vaccines to Umesh Shrestha, Minister of State for Health and Population, amidst a brief ceremony held at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The second batch of the vaccines will arrive in Kathmandu tomorrow evening. The remaining half of the total vaccines will be brought to Nepal soon.
“The Government of Nepal sincerely appreciates the Government of Japan for this generous provision of life-saving vaccine to Nepal through COVAX. These Japanese-made AstraZeneca COVID vaccines will be administered to the senior citizens who are waiting for second shots of vaccines of this group,” said the press statement.