Nepal has relaxed nearly all of the restrictions put in place to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Health experts are concerned that, now that the Covid-19 restriction has been eased, a third wave of persons flouting Covid-19 regulations might hit the country at any time. The only way to avoid the pandemic is to have everyone inoculated. However, for countries like Nepal, providing vaccines to their citizens is a difficult challenge.
As of right now, 2.9 million people have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, with 1.1 million receiving both doses. In Nepal, 1.4 million old people who took the first dose in April are yet to receive the second.
In February, the previous government announced that 72 percent of the population will be vaccinated against Covid-19. A newly constituted government has declared that all eligible residents will be vaccinated by mid-April next year, and one-third of them will be vaccinated by mid-October this year.
What is Nepal’s position on the immunization campaign?
Nepal received around three million vaccines as a grant
Under financial support from India and China, Nepal has received 2.9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines–Covishield and Vero Cell–as of Saturday. The Indian government delivered a million doses of Covishield vaccination to Nepal as a donation in January. The vaccine, developed in collaboration between Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical corporation, and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, enabled Nepal to launch a vaccination program at a time when only a few countries were able to do so.
China supplied 800,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccination to Nepal in March. Similarly, during a phone discussion with President Bidhya Devi Bhandari on May 26, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that one million doses of Covid-19 vaccinations will be sent as part of a gift. According to the release, 900,000 Vero Cell doses arrived in Nepal on June 1, with the remaining 100,000 doses arriving on June 3.
Then on July 2, the government announced that Nepal has reached a non-disclosure deal with China to purchase four million doses of Vero Cell vaccine. As per the deal, 800,000 doses of vaccine arrived in Nepal in the first week of July, and the remaining doses are arriving this week, officials say.
Nepal received 1.8 million vaccines under COVAX
Nepal has received 1.8 million doses of Covishield and Johnson & Johnson vaccines through the COVAX facility, which is supported by the World Health Organization. The COVAX facility delivered a total of 348,000 Covishield vaccines to Nepal on March 7. The immunizations were given to elderly individuals and frontline workers by the government.
On July 12, the United States of America sent 1.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to Nepal via the COVAX facility. Through the facility, Nepal has received 1.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccination.
Pledges from China and Japan
Two countries, Japan and China, have agreed to give Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal as of Saturday. On Friday, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi paid Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba a courtesy call and informed him that China will provide an additional 1.6 million doses of Vero Cell vaccination as part of a grant program. Similarly, the Japanese government has pledged to provide Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines developed in Japan under the COVAX facility. According to the Ministry of Health, the vaccine acquired from Japan will be administered to 1.6 million older persons who are awaiting the second dose.
How many people have been vaccinated so far?
According to the Ministry of Health, 2.9 million people have gotten the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination, with 1.1 million receiving both doses. The government has announced that 72 percent of the population will be vaccinated against the epidemic. On February 27, the government began a pandemic immunization program with the Covishield vaccine, which it got as a donation from India. The government planned to inoculate roughly 430,000 frontline employees with the Covishield vaccine in the first phase of the immunization campaign, including health workers, volunteers, security personnel, and sanitation workers, among others. In the first phase, however, only around 184,000 frontliners were inoculated.
The government launched the second phase of a vaccination campaign aimed at senior individuals aged 64 and up on March 7.
Vaccines received and Number of doses
- From India under donation1 million doses
- From China under donation1.8 million doses
- Through COVAX facility1.8 million doses
- Indian Army100,000 doses
- Purchased from India 1 million doses
- From China (purchased) 800,000 doses
- Total: 6.5 million doses
Vaccines arriving soon
|From China (donation)||1.6 million doses|
|From China (purchased)||3.2 million doses|
|From Japan under COVAX facility||1.6 million doses|
|Total: 6.4 million doses|