India has decided to provide a limited amount of ‘Covishield’ for free within a week, according to Indian media outlets
KATHMANDU, Jan 19: As the government of India has decided to provide a limited amount of ‘Covidshield’ vaccine to Nepal for free, the government of Nepal has also started preparations to inoculate frontline workers in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
On Tuesday, several Indian media outlets reported that the Indian cabinet had made a decision to provide limited quantities of ‘Covidshield’ to Nepal along with several other countries in the first stage.
“In the first phase of the vaccination drive, the government is inoculating frontline workers, which includes health and sanitation workers. The government is planning to inoculate three percent of the population in the first phase,” Dr Samir Adhikari, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population, told Republica.
According to the government, 300,000 health workers and 200,000 sanitation workers will be inoculated in the first phase of the vaccination drive.
It has been reported that India is supplying ‘Covishield’ to Nepal within a week.
The government, on January 15, granted emergency approval for ‘Covishield’, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, and manufactured by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India.
Adhikari also said that the government is preparing to procure ‘Covishield’ vaccine to Nepal at the earliest.
In the meantime, the government has already said that Nepali citizens will get vaccinated against COVID-19 for free. However, a week ago, the Ministry of Health and Population, issuing a public notice asked for help from donor agencies, organizations, among others to help the government as a huge amount of money is required for the vaccination drive.
The government has planned to inoculate 72 per cent of the country’s total population against COVID-19. “Almost 28 per cent of the country’s population is below the age of 15 years, and do not need to be vaccinated,” according to the government.
As there has been no clinical trial on children under the age of 14 so far, this group is not in a position to get vaccinated in the first phase, Dr Jhalak Sharma Gautam, chief at the Child Health and Immunization Section of the Department of Health Services, had told Republica a few weeks ago.
In the meantime, the government is planning to set up 16,000 vaccination centers for vaccination against COVID-19. Likewise, a total of 5,000 employees and 52,000 women health volunteers will be mobilized for vaccination against COVID-19.
As of Tuesday evening, the country has reported 267,992 cases, with 1,969 deaths related to COVID-19.