The Embassy of China in Nepal said the Chinese government would provide 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance.

In response to a journalist's query, the Chinese Embassy said in a press release: "China and Nepal are good neighbours, good friends and good partners. Facing whatever challenges like the earthquake and the pandemic, the two countries have always supported and helped each other through thick and thin.

In order to implement President Xi Jinping's solemn commitment that China will make its vaccines a global public good once available, and on the request of the Nepali government, the Chinese government has decided to provide 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines in grant assistance to Nepal, which would benefit 150,000 Nepali people."

The Chinese Embassy said despite huge demand for the vaccines both in China domestically and across the world at present, the Chinese government had prioritised Nepal in providing the vaccines, fully demonstrating the great importance it attaches to China-Nepal friendship.

The vaccine donated is developed by the Sinopharm and has already got conditional marketing approval in China. More than 24 million doses have been administrated by January 31. After a two-dose inoculation procedure, the vaccine shows 79.34 per cent efficacy against COVID-19, and the seroconversion rate of neutralising antibodies reached 99.52 per cent, the Chinese Embassy said in the press release.

The safety and effectiveness of the vaccine has surpassed marketing standards of the World Health Organisation, and received wide recognition from other countries. The vaccine has got licences for marketing or approval for emergency use in 13 foreign countries, including Pakistan, the UAE, Egypt and Hungary.

The Chinese Embassy is coordinating with relevant Nepali authorities on registration for emergency use and receipt of the vaccine and would like to deliver the vaccines at the earliest so as to help Nepal win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chinese side is willing to work together with the Nepali side to build a community of health for all and further strengthen and promote the strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity between the two countries, the embassy stated in the release.

A version of this article appears in the print on February 1, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.