Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, which is being given to Nepal by the United States, is scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu on Monday.
US Ambassador to Nepal Randy W. Berry on Friday made an official announcement on his Facebook page that Johnson & Johnson would provide more than 1.5 million vaccines for Nepal.
Under this, most probably the 1,534,850 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will arrive in Nepal on Monday, Spokesperson at the Ministry of Health and Population and Epidemiology and Disease Control Division Director Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel informed The TRN Online.
According to the Coordinator of the Vaccination Advisory Committee Dr Taranath Pokhrel, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is scientifically a single dose. "This vaccine is similar to the vaccine store of the Ministry of Health and Population. It can be kept at two to eight degrees centigrade," he said.
He said the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would start from the upper age group as per the action plan. "We are currently vaccinating people over the age of 60," he said. "We will administer upcoming vaccines for the people below the age of 60, 55 to 60 years of age and below 55 years,” he said.
Similarly, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel also said that the vaccination campaign will start soon. "We are in planning. Gradually, the vaccination campaign takes place in the age group as planned," he said.
Meanwhile, the government has brought eight lakh doses of vaccine to Nepal on Friday as per the agreement with China to buy 4 million Vero Cell vaccines. Although preparations were made to bring one million doses of vaccine at a time, only eight lakh vaccines were brought due to lack of space onboard.
A total of 1,534,850 from the United States and 4 million doses of vaccines purchased from China will be able to vaccinate an additional 3,534,850 people. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, imported from the United States, requires a single dose, while the Vero Cell vaccine requires two doses.
Nepali Ambassador to the US Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said that this support from the USA in times of a pandemic is very significant.
Talking to RSS, Dr Khatiwada said the US President had in his response to a letter from President Bidya Devi Bhandari said that the US would provide maximum possible support to Nepal.
He had also said that the US government would implement the decision of the G7 meeting on vaccines. The G7 meeting recently had decided to accord high priority to the worldwide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Nepal is also making efforts to procure more vaccines from the US, but many companies have said new contracts cannot be reached until 2021.
The Rising Nepal And RSS