Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has announced to provide second dose of Vero Cell from July 6. The country resumed its stalled COVID-19 vaccination campaign on June 8 with 1 million doses given by China after the government made international pleas for help with a shortage of shots.
Nepal has vaccinated about 8.3 percent of the population. Among them, 2.4 per cent have received both the doses and are fully vaccinated so far.
According to Dr. Jhalak Gautam, Chief of the National Immunisation Programme under the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), a total of 2,500,196 people have received the first dose of the jab while 731,563 people have received both the doses so far.
“An utmost effort from various mechanisms is under way to bring the vaccines,” said Dr. Gautam. The government is committed to vaccinate all the eligible people free of cost and it has been exploring all possible ways to procure vaccines at the earliest, he added.
Among the people vaccinated with the first dose, around 1.4 million elderly citizens are eagerly waiting for the second dose of the vaccines. With the unavailability of vaccines, the government has not been able to inoculate them, which is necessary as a booster for better efficacy.
The government had frequently made appeals to India to at least send the remaining 1 million Covishield jabs Nepal had paid for, and to Britain to supply vaccines so that elderly citizens could get the booster doses who are now waiting for more than 12 weeks.
As per the vaccination plan, those 1.4 million elderly people were supposed to get the second dose of vaccine at the interval of 8-12 weeks, which was due last month May 16 to May 29.
Dr. Rabindra Pandey, a public health expert, said that as the second wave of COVID-19 was more fatal than the first wave, people who have taken double shots have not fallen ill seriously from the virus.
Even deaths were not recorded among the people who received both doses of the vaccine, said Dr. Pandey and emphasised on the need to ensure availability of vaccines at the earliest.
Nepal launched its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 on January 27 with the 1 million doses India had provided under its Vaccine Maitri program.
Based on The Rising Nepal .