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US provides 680,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan

The United States has supplied more than 680,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bhutan, including 51,480 doses of Pfizer jabs in September, in partnership with the COVAX facility and the Bhutan Foundation.

Patricia Lacina, the US chargé d’Affaires in New Delhi, visited Bhutan from September 26-October 1 and met the country’s health minister Dechen Wangmo to discuss bilateral cooperation on Covid-19 and congratulated her for the exhaustive efforts made by Thimphu to combat the pandemic.

Lacina also joined agriculture and forests minister Yeshey Penjor in a ceremonial event to commemorate the US-Bhutan partnership in health and combating the pandemic.

“Bhutan stands as a model on global health issues, a fact the whole world recognises. When the Covid pandemic struck, the government implemented a detailed plan to protect the country’s front-line health workers and safeguard its citizens,” Lacina said.

Also Read:‘Heart warming goodwill’: Bhutan, Nepal thank India for Covid vaccines at UNGA

“The United States is proud to have supported Bhutan in this remarkable achievement, through US government-provided vaccines and other assistance and through more than a decade of wide-ranging health cooperation,” she said.

For more than a decade, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collaborated with Royal Center for Disease Control of Bhutan’s health ministry to build capacity for influenza surveillance, pandemic preparedness and influenza vaccine introduction, which was leveraged for the Covid-19 response.

Since the pandemic began, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other US agencies worked closely with Bhutan to bolster pandemic preparedness and response.

USAID also supported livelihood interventions for Bhutanese, focusing on women and youth, who experienced economic hardship during the pandemic.

Over the past 20 years, the US has provided $9 million in foreign assistance to Bhutan. The US government is partnering with Bhutan to prioritise Covid-19 relief and support to livelihoods, clean energy, disaster resilience, forestry management, biodiversity conservation and water security.

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