The vaccines supplied by India will enable Bhutan to launch its nationwide vaccination drive

Bhutan Prime Minister Lotay Tshering thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after receiving an additional 400,000 doses of Covishield from India on Monday,

Bhutan was the first country to receive the Government of India's gift of 1.5.lakh doses of COVID vaccine in January.

The 550,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines supplied by India will enable Bhutan to launch its nationwide vaccination drive from March 27 onwards.

The vaccine consignment was handed over to Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji at Paro airport by Indian Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Bhutan said.

These doses are sufficient to cover the entire population of the country with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccination.

"Thus, Bhutan is likely to be one of the first countries to protect its entire population against COVID-19, with assistance from India," the Indian Embassy said.

"Pleased to receive additional 400,000 doses of Covishield, making possible the nationwide rollout of our vaccination program. People of Bhutan and I remain grateful @narendramodi. We pray these gestures during the pandemic turn into boundless blessings for the people of India," Prime Minister Tshering said in Twitter.

Foreign Minister Dorji, in a post in Twitter, said," Received the precious gift of another 400,000 doses of Covidshield vaccines from our friend, India, today. Profoundly grateful to @government of India @PMOIndia @DrSJaishankar @RuchiraKamboj for the unconditional support in our fight against the pandemic".

Bhutanese Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said on Twitter, "Thank you Excellency @narendramodi Ji for your unwavering commitment to humanity. Thank you @RuchiraKamboj for your dedication in making nation wide vaccination a reality for Bhutan".

Through the unique initiative of Vaccine Maitri, India has supplied more than 60 million vaccines to 72 countries across the globe. These include countries in the immediate neighbourhood to nations beyond the Indian Ocean to the Gulf, Africa and the Carribean, the Indian Embassy in Bhutan's capital Thimphu said.