South Asia scrambles for vaccines
Islam News – Sri Lanka is tapping Japan. Nepal has asked Denmark. Bangladesh has appealed to its diaspora in the U.S. South Asian countries are turning to the rest of the world to jump-start inoculation campaigns that have stalled since India halted vaccine exports in March.
Wealthier countries have recently offered to step up vaccine donations to the developing world — such as the Group of 7’s promise of one billion shots — but health officials say the pledges are vague and far off, and do not address immediate needs.
Obstacles: A first batch of seven million doses was earmarked by the U.S. for Nepal, Sri Lanka and other countries in Asia this month, but the details of their arrival are still unclear. The situation is desperate: Older people in Nepal have been waiting for months for a second shot.
Context: India’s neighbors began vaccinations this year with a combination of doses donated by India and purchased from the Serum Institute of India. But as cases rose in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government blocked exports.
Source: The New York Times