Dr. Abhiyan Gauatm, chief at th Child Health and Immunisation Section, Family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services, said that the most vulnerable group of people including all above 55 years of age will be administered Pfizer BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.
As per the MoHP, health workers, pregnant women and people above 12 years of age having compromised immunity and suffering from chronic diseases are also on the priority list to be administered the booster jab in the first phase.
One who has completed a primary COVID-19 vaccination series in the previous three months and who were left to receive the booster shots previously or who had received the booster shot six months ago, will receive the vaccine as second booster shot, said Dr. Gautam. In the first phase, prioritised people meeting the above criteria will receive the bivalent jab, he added.
The vaccine advisory committee of Nepal has given emergency use authorization only to Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent vaccine for a booster dose.
The vaccine is called bivalent COVID-19 vaccine as it contains two components including the original virus strain and Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations (FDA), the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines include a component of the original virus strain to provide broad protection against COVID-19 and a component of the Omicron variant to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant.
The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine may also be referred to as “updated” COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, as per the US (FDA).
“We have already supplied Pfizer vaccine doses to all the seven provinces,” said Dr. Surendra Chaurasia, chief of the Logistic Management Section at the Family Welfare Division under the Department of Health Services (DoHS).
The province will distribute the vaccine doses to the local levels and will administer the booster shot from the health institutions, said Dr. Chaurasia. Earlier, all the seven province health directorates had demanded the required vaccine doses with the DoHS.
The vaccine is being administered from hospitals of the Nepal Army, the Armed Police Force, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Bir Hospital and Civil Hospital among other health institutions in Kathmandu.
Source: The Rising Nepal