US sends 7.4m Covid vaccine doses to Bangladesh

Covid-19 VaccineProthom Alo illstration

The United States began shipping another 7.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh on Friday, a US official told AFP.

“Thanks to the US commitment to playing a leading role in ending the pandemic everywhere, the United States is shipping 7,434,180 doses of Pfizer vaccine to Bangladesh,” a White House official said, asking not to be identified.

The latest shipment -- made through Covax, the global distribution initiative co-led by public-private partnership Gavi -- came as totals of US donations rose above 400 million worldwide.

Washington has pledged 1.1 billion shots to the rest of the world -- more than any other country -- and has already sent vaccines to countries ranging from Guatemala to Papua New Guinea.

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The US shots often cross paths with shipments from China and Russia in what has been dubbed “vaccine diplomacy,” although the official insisted that the US contributions “do not come with strings attached.”

Bangladesh has recorded about 1.75 million Covid-19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

One of the world’s poorest countries, Bangladesh has fully vaccinated 36 per cent of its approximately 165 million people.

The United States had already dispatched 28.4 million doses of vaccines to Bangladesh, not counting the latest batch, according to Kaiser Family Foundation’s database.