Senior officials at the Ministry of Health and Population have assured that Nepal will receive vaccines against COVID-19 within two weeks.
The battle against COVID 19 in Nepal is at a crucial stage as Nepal needs vaccines and vaccination to be stepped up. Nepal has a limited number of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the government of China for the second time due to which the government has been facing a problem in the much needed vaccination drive amid a surge of new cases.
2,500,196 people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine while 731,653 others have received both the first and the second dose, Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel, spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Director at Epidemiology and Disease Control Division informs.
He said around 1.7 million people have been waiting for the second dose of vaccines adding that the vaccination drive will be carried on with the vaccines the government has been seeking to purchase from various manufacturers around the world. He said that the government has been holding diplomatic level dialogue to get the vaccines.
MoHP Spokesperson, Dr Poudel expressed hope that the country will receive vaccines within two weeks. He also said that Nepal has yet to receive one million doses of Covishield vaccines from the Serum Institute of India which the government has already purchased.
Moreover, Dr Poudel said that the detailed plans of the US to donate 7 million doses of anti-COVID vaccine to Nepal and other Asian countries will prove a boon for the country at the time of crisis.
The US on June 3 said that it will donate at least 80 million doses of vaccine globally by the end of June as Washington aims to close the gap with Beijing in vaccine diplomacy.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on June 22 issued an interim order asking the government to immediately provide the second dose of the Covishield vaccine to senior citizens above 65 years who already received the first dose.
Responding to the court’s order, Dr Poudel told NepalNews that the government is committed to administering the second dose of Covishield vaccine and the vaccination drive will be continued after purchasing the same vaccine manufactured by other countries. He informed that the government has been expecting the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which is similar to Covishield in all respect but manufactured in other countries. “The senior citizens above 65 years will be administered the second dose with the AstraZeneca vaccine purchased from other countries,” Dr Poudel said.
Meanwhile, the government has announced that it will administer vaccination with the one million doses of Vero Cell vaccine that was provided by the Chinese government, from July 6, for those who have taken the first dose of the Chinese vaccine.