Covid vaccines given by India to UN peacekeepers are used: spokesperson
The 2,000,000 Covid-19 vaccines offered by India to all UN peacekeepers are “already in use” and a number of these peacekeepers have already been vaccinated, said the spokesperson for the head of the United Nations. ‘UN Antonio Guterres.
“The Indian government … had offered us … 2,000,000 doses … And a number of peacekeepers are already, to my knowledge, being vaccinated,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told reporters. , at the daily press conference on Friday. in response to a question about the vaccination of UN peacekeepers. “So on the Indian vaccines, the ones that I think were… AstraZeneca, it was 2,000,000. They are already being put to use,” he said.
India, one of the largest troop contributors to UN peacekeeping missions, has offered 2 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine to UN peacekeepers in all missions in the United Nations. ‘UN.
As of March 31 of this year, 87,889 people were serving in 12 peacekeeping operations around the world.
The gift of India
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar announced in February that India would offer doses of the vaccine to UN peacekeepers.
“Bearing in mind the UN peacekeepers who are operating in such difficult circumstances, we would like to announce today a gift of 2,000,000 doses for them,” Jaishankar said during the Security Council’s public debate in the United Nations on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) on the cessation of hostilities in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Quoting the Bhagavad Gita, Jaishankar had said, “Do your work with the welfare of others in mind always. The doses essentially meant that it would be possible to administer the required double doses of Covid vaccines to all UN peacekeepers in all missions.
AstraZeneca vaccines had left Mumbai via Qatar Airways on March 27. The cargo went to Copenhagen, where it was safely stored in a facility, reconditioned and quickly distributed to all peacekeeping missions for peacekeepers.
“Frontline workers can continue to work”
On a question about the supply of vaccines to the UN from China, Dujarric said “we continue to be in contact with the Chinese authorities, as we are with the Russian authorities. Part of this had to do with vaccines already approved by the WHO (World Health Organization) as we do not use vaccines that are not approved by the WHO. He said the Secretary-General directly expressed his gratitude to Russia when he was in Moscow recently and also thanked the Chinese for their offer.
“I mean, we are very fortunate to have Member States that are willing and able to give vaccines to UN staff working on the front lines to ensure that we continue to do our jobs,” Dujarric said. . He added that it was also important to note that even before the vaccines were available to “some of our colleagues in the field, they had continued to do their jobs.”
Dujarric welcomed the announcement by the Biden administration that it will share millions of vaccine doses both with the COVAX facility, as well as bilaterally with countries in particular need.
COVAX is a global initiative for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization.
“But I would also like to add that the Secretary-General is extremely grateful to the Government of the United States for the inclusion of United Nations staff and delegates from Member States serving in the United States in its national immunization program, and for the he generous offer to provide vaccines for frontline United Nations personnel serving in the world’s most difficult and dangerous places.
“This donation will allow UN staff to stay and provide essential services to vulnerable people around the world in a safe and efficient manner,” he said.
Need to remedy the shortage
He added that the Secretary-General renews his appeal to the international community to come together to meet the unprecedented challenge of this pandemic, and for countries to share vaccines, especially with those struggling to cope with the news. spurts and variants.
“There is an urgent need to increase global solidarity to ensure that vaccines are available to everyone, everywhere. Equitable access to vaccines is a prerequisite for [ending] the pandemic and the start of a strong recovery. On a question about the Biden administration’s announcement to give vaccines to frontline UN staff, he said the UN was in contact with the US mission to determine those details, including the numbers. .
“I understand it will be a one-and-done Johnson & Johnson, as they say. But we’re trying to get a little more detail, but we’re very grateful for this offer.