US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R. Miller has said the arrival of 2.5 million doses of the US biotech firm Moderna’s highly successful vaccine for Covid-19 through the COVAX facility is only the beginning.
“The United States understands the urgency of getting as many safe and effective vaccines to Bangladesh as quickly as possible,” he said while addressing a reception at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday night.
Earlier, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen received the first consignment of 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine under the COVAX framework.
Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen, secretary of health services division Lokman Hossain Miah, and other high officials of the government were also present.
The second consignment of 1.2 million vaccine arrived on Saturday morning.
We share these vaccines with the singular objective of saving lives because it is the right thing to do. It is what Americans do in times of need. When we have the capacity, we have the will, and we step up and we deliver
Ambassador Miller said the United States has been Bangladesh’s closest partner for the past five decades working to improve public health.
“Today, at this uniquely challenging moment in history, our partnership is more important than ever,” he remarked.
Miller said he is proud to join with partners and leaders from the Bangladesh government to continue to work together to build a world safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease.
“We do so for the people of Bangladesh, the people of America, for all the people on this precious vulnerable world we are privileged and responsible to share and protect,” said the US Ambassador.
The US envoy further said the Moderna vaccine doses are a gift, at no cost, from the American people. “We share these vaccines with the singular objective of saving lives because it is the right thing to do. It is what Americans do in times of need. When we have the capacity, we have the will, and we step up and we deliver.”
He said the United States is the largest donor of assistance to Bangladesh’s Covid-19 response.
To date, the US government has contributed over $84 million to help Bangladesh combat the pandemic. This assistance includes the delivery of ventilators, oxygen cylinders, 1200 pulse oximeters, over two million pieces of personal protective equipment, five million surgical masks, and 52,000 pairs of protective goggles to protect thousands of frontline healthcare workers in Bangladesh.
We are going to be an arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight to end the global crisis of Covid-19
“We understand to save lives around the world, stop the threat of new variants, and rebuild the global economy we must work together to quickly vaccinate as many people as possible everywhere,” said Ambassador Miller.
The United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts as we have at home, he said.
“We will use the power of our democracy, the ingenuity of American scientists, the strength of American manufacturing, and, most importantly, the resilience, commitment and generosity of spirit of the American people to help the world beat this pandemic.”
Miller said the United States was the arsenal of democracy in the global crisis of World War II. “We are going to be an arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight to end the global crisis of Covid-19.”
Earlier this year, President Biden announced a US commitment to donate at least 80 million doses from our own vaccine supply to the world.
“We will also allocate 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine for distribution by COVAX to countries around the world,” Miller said.