The 2.5 million doses of the US biotech firm Moderna vaccines that arrived in Dhaka are a gift from the American people, at no cost, said US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller.
"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," The US envoy said.
"The United States is committed to bringing the same urgency to international vaccination efforts as we have at home. 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. The United States was the arsenal of democracy in the global crisis of World War Two. We are going to be an arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight to end the global crisis of Covid-19," he said while addressing a reception at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday night.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Dr 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 Bangladesh government were also present.
The second consignment arrived on Saturday morning.
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.
Ambassador Miller reiterated, "The vaccine donations arriving tonight and in a few hours are only the beginning. The United States understands the urgency of getting as many safe and effective vaccines to Bangladesh as quickly as possible. And 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."
The ambassador 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 said.
"The United States is the largest donor of assistance to Bangladesh's Covid-19 response. To date, the US government has contributed over US$84 million to help Bangladesh combat the pandemic. The United States understands the urgency of getting as many safe and effective vaccines to Bangladesh as quickly as possible," he continued.
Miller said he is proud to join with partners and leaders from the Government of Bangladesh 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 people on this precious vulnerable world we are privileged and responsible to share and protect," said the US Ambassador.
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.