KATHMANDU, Feb 20: Prime Minister K P Oli has said that an additional one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines is scheduled to arrive in Nepal from India on Sunday.
Prime Minister Oli informed about the import of additional one million doses of Covishield while addressing a mass gathering organized by his faction of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) in Biratnagar—the provincial headquarters of Province 1—on Saturday.
The one million doses of Covishield vaccines announced by Prime Minister Oli is an addition to the 1 million doses of Covishield gifted earlier by the Government of India. “We are procuring one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from India tomorrow [Sunday]. We will import vaccines from China after a few days and again import the vaccines from India a few days later,” he said.
The government has already administered Covishield-- Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK and manufactured in India by Serum Institute--vaccines to all frontline workers including medical professionals, security personnel, media persons, government employees, those working in the aviation sector, and banking and financial institutions. The government has already announced to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all those above 55 years of age starting from March 7.
The government had earlier signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to procure 2 million doses of Covishield at the cost of US$ 4 per dose, according to Health Minister Hridayesh Tripathi. The first tranche of the vaccines is arriving in Nepal from India on Sunday.
Officials at the Health Ministry said the government is expected to receive 2.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as a grant under the COVAX facility anytime soon. The government is also set to receive 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by China’s Sinopharm after Nepal’s health regulatory body recently gave permission to use the vaccines for emergency purposes.