The Urgency of Vaccines for Nepal
May 12 2021
A number of Nepalis, friends of Nepal, and NGOs are rallying to encourage the U.S. Government in particular to allocate some of its stockpile of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nepal, which is not currently on the distribution list. If you are in the U.S., please see the appeal below for details, and help us take action.
Friends in the US — The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is meeting *TODAY* Wed, May 12th to talk about the global COVID situation, and we really need to put Nepal on their agenda. Please encourage everyone within your network to contact their senators, especially the ten Senators on the South Asia subcommittee, who would be the best advocates for Nepal. If your state is not on this list, please call your state Senator as well as the names listed below:
Chris Murphy (Connecticut, Subcommittee Chair)
Todd Young (Indiana, Ranking)
Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Ed Markey (Massachusetts)
Ted Cruz (Texas)
Cory Booker (New Jersey)
Mitt Romney (Utah)
Chris Van Hollen (Maryland)
Bill Hagerty (Tennessee)
Vaccines are the only solution that will stop the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal. Nepal has a proven track record for implementing successful nationwide vaccine campaigns, including with measels, polio and TB. Other humanitarian aid like oxygen, PPE and medical supplies are very important, and we should advocate for such... but this kind of aid will not stop the waves of the virus from continuing to devastate Nepal. Vaccines are critical.
Main Talking Points:
Nepal is seeing the fastest spread of the Covid virus on the planet - faster than even India
The medical system is already overwhelmed, with hospitals turning away critical patients
Nepal only has 1,500 ICU beds and 600 ventilators for a population of nearly 30 million people
Only 1% of the population is fully vaccinated
Nepal has a proven ability to successfully vaccinate even the most rural areas
Nepal needs your help more than ever.
Also please help amplify the #Vaccines4Nepal effort with a hashtag on your social media to draw attention of the US government. If you know people in government channels, please do let them know about this cause.
Thanks to the COVID Alliance for Nepal for organizing this initiative.!!
More detail from Kabita Parajuli here:
1. This is a US-based advocacy platform to reallocate necessary materials to fight Covid-19, that are not being used in the US, to Nepal -- where they are really valuable/important.
2. This particular initiative is about the US Stockpile of AstraZeneca vaccines. The US has more than 60 million extra doses, and will have 90 million soon. NONE of these have been used, even though the stockpile has existed for many months already (it was 7 million in early March -- imagine if that had gone to India?)
3. There is precedence for this: 4 million went to Mexico and Canada. a certain number have been committed to India. Nepal and India have an open border. Covid cannot be fought through just lockdowns. This is an opportunity for the US to demonstrate its role in the diplomatic and international communities, and share a resource that is not being used, and cannot be used, in the US.
4. Every day you are likely seeing reports of states **turning away ** their allocated vaccine doses. That is Moderna/Pfizer/J&J. Those are already running in "excess" of demand. The AZ vaccine is approved in Nepal, and already in use!
5. The timeline we know about is, officially, of 2 months for the US to make this decision. Over 300,000 people in Nepal are currently *known* to have an infection. This is in spite of the fact that there are *entire districts* without testing capacity: all we really know is that the number is much much higher.
6. Deaths are increasing exponentially, and have not peaked. It is crucial that the Foreign Relations Committee and executive move on making this decision.
7. The (US) govt has said that it plans to distribute up to 60 million doses over the next 2 months. 2 months is a long time. We know there are multiple countries in need, and Nepal is on a precipice of a surge. We know vaccine allocation even during a pandemic surge saves lives (see: Maharastra), and is the ONLY way to prevent further tragedy through a third wave.
8. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CovidAllianceForNepal
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alliance4nep for info about the advocacy group.
NEPAL IS RECEIVING VEROCELL VACCINES FROM CHINA, BUT WILL SURELY NEED MORE. PLEASE SEE POSTER FOR TALKING POINTS WITH YOUR SENATOR. #Vaccines4Nepal