The Government of Japan has donated about 1.6 million doses of Japanese-made COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal as a grant through the COVAX facility. This was officially announced today by Motegi Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.
The exact shipping schedule will be confirmed once the procurement arrangement is finalised by the international organisation which is in charge of the matter.
Kikuta Yutaka, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, stated this is a reflection of the long-term friendship of Nepal towards Japan. He welcomed the decision by Tokyo as the vaccine is urgently needed to save the lives of many Nepali people. The ambassador said he hopes the vaccines will ease the various difficulties that have been caused by the COVID-19 situation.
The embassy has said it will coordinate with the Ministry of Health and Population for the delivery and use of the Japanese-made AstraZeneca vaccines for the COVID-19 vaccination campaign of Nepal. The Japanese-made AstraZeneca vaccine will effectively assist the second injection of elderly people who already had the first vaccination of Covisheld, the AstraZeneca-type vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India. Furthermore, it will also be useful to proceed with the vaccination campaign for the young generations who are yet to be vaccinated.
The Japanese Embassy in Kathmandu has been working with the government to tackle the COVID-19 together by assisting Nepali hospitals with medical equipment in multiple ways. The Japanese government stands with Nepal to overcome this pandemic and has been providing medical equipment under the Japanese Grant Aid, the mbassy said in a statement.
The Embassy of Japan mentioned that it hopes that this vaccination assistance will save lives of more Nepali people from COVID-19, and it strongly supports the vaccination campaign which is necessary for the progress of post-COVID Nepali society and its economy.