KATHMANDU, Jan 23: The government is preparing to dispatch ‘Covishield’ vaccines – gifted by India – to all provinces starting Sunday.
“A million doses of ‘Covishield’ vaccine received by Nepal as a grant from India will be dispatched to all provinces starting tomorrow morning, and vaccines will reach all over the country within a few days,” Dr Tara Pokharel of the Ministry of Health and Population, told Republica.
Likewise, the government has also appointed coordinators for each province to facilitate in dispatching the vaccines. “The government has appointed three members for each province to facilitate the dispatching procedure,” he said.
The vaccine received by Nepal is currently stored at the Central Vaccine Store in Teku, Kathmandu.
“Once the vaccine reaches every province, the Cabinet will give approval to start the vaccination drive,” he added.
On Thursday, a million doses of the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, arrived in Nepal under a grant assistance of India. The vaccine is jointly developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca – a British-Swedish pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company.
The government, on January 15, granted emergency approval for ‘Covishield’. The vaccine can be stored for six months at a temperature between two to eight degrees Celsius.
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 does not need to be vaccinated, according to the ministry.
Two doses of ‘Covishield’ vaccine should be given four to 12 weeks apart to develop immunity against COVID-19.