Cambodia, Iran and Bangladesh Among the first Asian Countries to Receive Donated AstraZeneca Vaccines from Japan

Cambodia, Iran and Bangladesh are the first lower-income countries to receive delivery of a donation from Japan of over 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, beginning this weekend.

Cambodia and Iran received 332,000 and 1,087,570 doses respectively on Friday, while Bangladesh is scheduled to receive 2,45,200 doses on Saturday, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said in a statement.

The Japanese vaccine donations are being distributed via Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment scheme – that provides vaccines free of charge to some 92 low-income countries in Southeast Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean region, Western Pacific, Latin America, and elsewhere.

Announcing the donations, the government of Japan said: that “In order to overcome COVID-19, it is important to promote equitable access to vaccines not only in Japan but also throughout the world. Japan will continue to work towards securing equitable access to safe, effective and quality-assured vaccines through various support, responding to the needs of developing countries and the world, in cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations.”

Japan itself has lagged in its own vaccination campaign, despite being a high-income country – creating added risks of a spike in serious COVID cases as the 2020 Olympics get underway – a year late.

Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO said in the statement: “ In operationalising its dose donation, the Government of Japan has further grown its commitment to global equitable access. We look forward to seeing Japanese doses flowing to a number of countries in the coming weeks.”

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Image Credits: Gavi .

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