US to provide 3 million Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid vaccine to Afghanistan

Afghanistan will receive three million doses of Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccines by the United States, The White House on Thursday announced, hours after Afghan President Ghani landed in the United States for his first meeting with President Joe Biden

Jun 25, 2021
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 Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid vaccine

Afghanistan will receive three million doses of Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccines by the United States, The White House on Thursday announced, hours after Afghan President Ghani landed in the United States for his first meeting with President Joe Biden. Ghani, along with chief peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah, is due to meet Biden Friday. 

The vaccine assistance came at a time when the country has been battling a deadly resurgence of the Covid-19 wave, fuelled by the fast-spreading Delta variant. Importantly, the vaccine will be delivered by next week.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre made the announcement aboard Air Force One on Thursday as President Joe Biden flew to Raleigh, North Carolina, to encourage Americans to get vaccinated.

She also said vaccines “could be shipped as soon as next week.” The donation is part of the 55 million doses that the US had announced to distribute to needy countries in South Asia, Africa and Latin America.  

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has been reporting between 1500-2000 daily cases while the overall testing count still remains abysmal low, around 4500. On Thursday, it reported around 63 deaths from Covid-19. 

Despite the deadly outbreak, authorities in Afghanistan haven’t yet imposed significant restrictions in capital Kabul, one of the worst affected cities and home to close to seven million people. However, educational institutions and schools remain closed for over a month now. 

The heightened conflict in recent days, too, has been affecting the country’s pandemic response. Reports emerged on Wednesda that, Taliban militants allegedly fired a rocket on a hospital, setting it on fire and destroyed crucial supplies like oxygen, Covid-19 vaccines, and life-saving vaccines in the northern province of Kunar. 

(SAM)

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