Nepal speeds up vaccination drive as 3rd COVID wave hovers around

Published On: August 8, 2021 12:18 PM NPT By: Kunga Hyolmo

KATHMANDU, August 8: Nepal has been administering COVID-19 vaccines to more than 150,000 people a day on average over the past few days.

The country has sped up its COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country as it braces for the third wave of COVID-19 which is likely to hit Nepal soon if the current COVID-19 trend persists.

Public health experts and the health ministry have been warning the general public not to defy COVID-19 safety protocols as the country is likely to be hit by the third wave any time soon.

According to the data of the past six days compiled by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), more than 153,000 people have been receiving their COVID-19 jabs a day on an average.

As many as 191,339 people received their jabs of COVID-19 on Saturday, 120, 889 on Friday and 117,119 on Thursday. Likewise, the number of people receiving the vaccine was 115,155 on Wednesday, 198,459 on Tuesday and 181,025 on Monday.

The health ministry is currently administering the second dose of Vero Cell against COVID-19 across the country. Nepal received its first shipment of THE Japanese-made AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday and its second shipment is scheduled to arrive today. The shipment of the vaccines that arrived on Saturday and the one to arrive on Sunday evening makes half of the 1.6 million doses to be donated by Japan.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Health and Population, Umesh Shrestha maintained that Nepal will receive 10.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by mid-October.

India, Nepal’s southern neighbor with which Nepal shares an open border, has so far provided a grant of 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Covishield). Likewise, China has provided 1.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Vero Cell). The country also received almost 1.6 million doses of J&J vaccines from the United States of America recently. Nepal received 348,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines (Covishield) from COVAX facility.

In addition to this, Nepal purchased one million doses of Covishield vaccines from the Serum Institute of India and four million doses of Vero Cell vaccines from Senopham Company of China. While Nepal is all set to purchase an additional six million doses of Vero Cell vaccines from the northern neighbor, Nepal is expected to receive one million doses of Covishield vaccine that was purchased from India anytime soon.

Officials at the MoHP said Nepal has already initiated the process to procure 10.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in coordination with the COVAX facility. Additionally, the government has initiated a process to procure six million doses of Pfizer vaccines to be administered to children above 12 years.

As of Saturday, 4,442,622 people have received their first shot of COVID-19 vaccines and 2,359,793 have been fully vaccinated in the country.


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