KATHMANDU, July 30: China has agreed to provide an additional 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Ministry of Health and Population, China is ready to provide the vaccine through the procurement process. Dr Roshan Pokharel, secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, said with this China will provide 14.4 million vaccines to Nepal. Out of these, 12 million will be provided through procurement process and 3.4 million in the form of grants.
The 5 million doses of vaccine that China announced to provide two months ago has already been sent to Nepal and an additional 1.6 million doses are being given as a grant, assistant spokesperson of the ministry Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari said. "China is going to provide necessary additional vaccinations. In this regard, Nepal will have vaccinated a large number of people by 2021."
If an additional 6 million vaccines are made available to Nepal, China will be the first country to provide the largest quantity of vaccine to Nepal. According to the details, China has given 3.4 million vaccines as a grant while India has given 1.1 million doses. Similarly, the United States has given 1.634 million doses under the COVAX facility, Japan 1.6 million doses and the World Health Organization has given 324,000 doses under the Covax facility. Apart from that, India has provided 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal through the procurement process.
Vaccination will be provided to 20 percent of the population under the COVAX facility. Under this, 1.924 million doses of vaccine have been received so far and another 1.6 million has been announced to come from Japan. “Other vaccines are in the process of being brought to Nepal,” informed Chief of Vaccination Branch Jhalak Gautam. According to Dr Shyamraj Upreti, coordinator of COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, Nepal is in a position to vaccinate 50 percent or one third of the population by 2021 if the vaccine as promised by China and COVAX facility arrive on time.
Dr Gautam said the campaign will be conducted on the basis of vaccine availability. According to him, most of the population will be vaccinated within mid-April. "The Prime Minister has also said that all Nepalis will be vaccinated within mid-April, 2022,” he added.