22 January 2021
A flight carrying AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine from India landed at Yangon International Airport on Friday Afternoon.
The consignment is a gift from India to Myanmar to assist in its fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador of India to Myanmar Mr. Saurabh Kumar handed over 1.5 million doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to Director General of the Directorate of Medical Research Prof. Zaw Than Htun at the airport.
The supply of vaccines by India to Myanmar fulfills the commitment made by Prime Minister Modi in 2020.
Prior to the delivery of vaccines today, a ‘training for trainers’ programme, covering administrative and operational aspects, was conducted on 19-20 January to the concerned officials of the recipient countries, both at national and provincial levels.
Deputy Director General, Department of Medical Research, Dr. Tun Myint said “We’ve planned to keep the donated vaccine from India at the Central Cold Chain. From there, we are going to distribute across the country. As the State Counsellor mentioned, the first priority sector for the vaccination is frontline medical staff and then member of Government body including Hluttaw Representatives. We know the people of Myanmar are very happy for this contribution and we heard the next batches of vaccine will arrive soon. As soon as we got the vaccine, I’d like to urge to the people to keep mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing practices.”
The delivery of vaccines to Myanmar is the result of high-level consultations between the two governments. Myanmar has also signed an MoU with Serum Institute of India, the manufacturer of COVISHIELD for procuring additional doses of vaccines directly.
Ambassador, Embassy of India, Yangon, H.E. Saurabh Kumar said " This is the very positive development. We are very happy and we feel very gratify that we have been able to contribute towards Myanmar’s fight against pandemic and I think once the vaccination program process starts it would be very good for Myanmar and it would be very good for all of us."
Manufactured under license by the Serum Institute of India, the vaccine will be given to health workers and other front-line personnel within a week or 10 days. It is learnt that, the key government officials, civil services personnel and Hluttaw representatives will be included in the following step.
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