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Japan to donate $800 mn to WHO’s COVAX programme

COVAX provides Covid-19 vaccination to countries that are in need

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga recently told the media that the country is planning to contribute an additional $800 million to the COVAX programme of the World Health Organisation (WHO). COVAX provides Covid-19 vaccination to countries that are in need.

Previously, Japan had pledged $200 million to COVAX. Following this, the US declared to provide the highest amount of $2.5 billion. According to the media, the nation is expected to announce donations of vaccine doses to the programme. The Prime Minister will be serving as a host for an online COVAX summit that will be attended by Kamala Harris, the US Vice President, philanthropist Bill Gates and other representatives from the Group of Seven nations.

The summit has an intention to fill a funding gap of about $1.7 billion. It also hopes that countries and organisations will boost their donations of money and doses of the vaccination. It is to note that the lawmakers of Japan have urged providing supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Taiwan. This country is dealing with a massive surge in infections. So far, Taiwan has vaccinated about two percent of its 23.5 million population. Japan does not have immediate plans to use the doses of AstraZeneca it currently has on hand. It has secured enough supplies of other types of vaccine jabs for its entire population.

According to the Prime Minister’s office, Japan has administered Covid-19 vaccines to more than 10 million people. The country is trying to speed up the vaccination process that is lagging in other developed countries. A total of 4,653,566 medical personnel and 5,734,023 people aged 65 and above had received at least one vaccine shot as of 1 June. It is equivalent to eight percent of Japan’s population of 126 million.

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