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Nepal receives 130,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from UK

The jabs are part of grant assistance from the British government, the embassy says.
British Ambassador to Nepal HE Nicola Pollitt has handed over 130,000 plus doses of the
AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal, as part of the UK’s direct bilateral support. Whilst this is a
much-awaited intervention that will hugely benefit the elderly waiting for their second AZ
dose, it is clear that vaccines continue to be given based on bilateral relationship, with the
need for lobbying at the political level as well as that by the civil society, both in Nepal and
the UK. Vaccine diplomacy continues to be the dominant strategy, which is politically
motivated, as opposed to the global south receiving them as a guarantee under COVAX, the
international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations to ensure global vaccine
equity. COVAX is increasingly being deemed as a failed initiative in Nepal and some
neighbouring countries who failed to access vaccines which are stockpiled in the West, even
when offering to purchase them for full price.

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