Monday Jul 4, 2022
Monday Jul 4, 2022

Health officials fret as vaccine supply falls short


Nepalnews
2021 Mar 17, 23:13, Kathmandu
An elderly woman getting COVID-19 vaccine at the Ward Office in Pokhara Metropolitan City-6, Kaski district, on March 7, 2021. Photo: RSS

Nepal has successfully administered the COVID vaccine on the second phase of the vaccination drive, but authorities are worried about future supplies of the vaccine.


File - Staff loading a consignment of COVID-19 vaccines onto the airbus of Air India, at an airport in India, on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Photo courtesy: MEA India/Anurag Srivastava/ Twitter
File - Staff loading a consignment of COVID-19 vaccines onto the airbus of Air India, at an airport in India, on Thursday, January 21, 2021. Photo courtesy: MEA India/Anurag Srivastava/ Twitter

Nepal has so far received 2,348,000 doses of vaccines — one million doses under grant assistance from India, another one million doses of the 2,000,000 doses which the government has bought from the Serum Institute of India, and another 348,000 doses under the COVAX facility.

According to Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and chief of the Health Coordination Department, Dr Jageshwor Gautam, the government has been negotiating with the Serum Institute of India to obtain at least 5 million doses for the next stage of the national drive against COVID-19. He said efforts are being made from high-level government to government dialogues. However, only one million doses of the total two million doses of purchased vaccines have been received so far, he said.


Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and Chief of Health Coordination Department, Dr Jageshwor Gautam, briefing a report of coronavirus cases in Nepal. Photo: Screenshot of NTV live broadcast
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) and Chief of Health Coordination Department, Dr Jageshwor Gautam, briefing a report of coronavirus cases in Nepal. Photo: Screenshot of NTV live broadcast

Dr Gautam told the NepalNews that there is less chance of supplies any time soon as Bangladesh, Pakistan and India among dozen countries have been competing to get the vaccines against coronavirus as there are only a few manufacturers for the medicine.

He asserted that the government has targeted to vaccinate 72 per cent of the total population and assumed that at least 80 per cent of the population will be inoculated through the national drive against coronavirus. As per the Central Bureau of Statics, the population of Nepal is 30,276,179.

He also informed that the government would get 13.2 million doses of the vaccine through the COVAX facility that targets to inoculate 20 per cent of the population.

Meanwhile, he also informed that Nepal has been promised 13.2 million doses of the vaccine under COVAX, through the programme initiated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to buy and deliver coronavirus vaccines for poor people. Nepal has already received 348,000 doses of the vaccine recently.

Presently, the government aims to inoculate 40 per cent of the total population with the supply of limited vaccines, the MoHP Spokesperson said.

Apart from importing the vaccines from India, the Chinese government has also promised to provide 500,000 doses of vaccine, ‘Vero Cell’, manufactured in China. The Department of Drug Administration (DDA) has approved the Chinese vaccine for grant purpose only. The vaccines are yet to be registered for commercial use, Dr Gautam said. Likewise, the DDA has yet to receive the additional documents for the review of ‘Sputnik V’, another COVID vaccine manufactured by Russia.

The spokesperson also informed that the private sectors in the country have also been granted permission to import the vaccine against coronavirus. However, he argued that it seemed improbable for the private sector to procure the vaccine due to a few producers manufacturing the highly sought vaccine worldwide. He said the government has allowed private sectors to import and sell the vaccine in the domestic market charging an extra three per cent on the actual cost price.

As many as 1,644,858 people have been inoculated through 6,000 vaccine centres set up across the country as of Tuesday, according to MoHA.

It has been reported that the nationwide vaccination drive will be continued with the second doses of vaccines from April 19 to 23.

The first phase of the campaign was launched on January 27.

READ ALSO:

COVID vaccine Vaccine against coronavirus coronavirus vaccine National drive against coronavirus Dr Jageshwor Gautam Jageshwor Gautam Ministry of Health and Population MoHP vaccination drive Vaccinationa in Nepal Nepal vacination campaign Nepal vaccination drive
Nepal's First Online News Portal
Published by Nepalnews Pvt Ltd
Editor: Raju Silwal
Information Department Registration No. 1505 / 076-77

Contact

KMC-02, UttarDhoka,
Lazimpat, Nepal

Newsroom
+977–01–4445751 / 4445754

E-mail
[email protected] [email protected]

Terms of Use Disclaimer
© NepalNews. 2021 All rights reserved. | Nepal's First News Portal