The COVID-19 vaccines stock donated by India earlier this year for UN peacekeepers has got exhausted, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Friday said the UN received a donation of 3,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the Government of China.
"The donation comes at a very important time, following exhaustion of the vaccine stocks donated by the Government of India in March this year," Dujarric said.
India, one of the largest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions, had gifted 2,00,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for UN peacekeepers across all UN missions.
The 2,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were shipped from India for distribution for UN peacekeepers in March. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had announced in February that India will gift 2,00,000 COVID-19 doses for UN peacekeepers.
"Keeping in mind the UN Peacekeepers who operate in such difficult circumstances, we would like to announce today a gift of 2,00,000 doses for them," Jaishankar had said while addressing the UN Security Council open debate on the implementation of resolution 2532 (2020) on the cessation of hostilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vaccine from China, manufactured by SinoPharm, was granted World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing earlier this year and will be distributed to UN personnel and peacekeepers through the UN system-wide COVID-19 vaccination programme.
"The donation, including the 18-month shelf life of the vaccine, will provide for the continuation of the programme, and support the UN's efforts to reach all UN personnel, peacekeepers, and implementing partners who have stayed to deliver on our critical mandates throughout this pandemic," Dujarric said. (With PTI inputs)