China will give more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal

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Boxes of COVID-19 vaccines are seen at a packaging workshop inside the Beijing Institute of Biological Products of Sinopharm's China National Biotec Group (CNBG), during a government-organised visit to the company’s production line in Beijing, China February 26, 2021. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

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KATHMANDU, March 2 (Reuters) - China will give 800,000 shots of coronavirus vaccine to Nepal, its ambassador said, up from half a million promised earlier.

The gift is to support Nepal’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Hou Yanqi said in a Twitter post late on Monday.

"Let us join hands to achieve the victory at an early date!" she said.

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Supplies have not yet started and Hou did not provide any delivery times.

India has already gifted a million shots of the AstraZeneca (AZN.L) vaccine that it makes to help its Himalayan neighbour kick off its immunisation programme in January.

Nepal also procured one million shots in a commercial deal with the Serum Institute of India that is making the vaccine.

India and China have been giving away COVID-19 vaccines as part of a diplomatic push to strengthen ties with neighbours and countries further afield.

Nepal granted emergency-use approval of a vaccine developed by an affiliate of China’s Sinopharm only last month.

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Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Stephen Coates

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