The government has been preparing to import 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines — 40,000 doses of Moderna and 60,000 doses of Pfizer–BioNTech — to inoculate all children in the age group of 12-18 years.
Public Health Administrator at the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), Upendra Dhungana, told NepalNews that the authorities concerned have expedited the preparation for the storage facility. Meanwhile, over 100,000 syringes are being imported as a preparation, Dhungana said.
It has been learnt that payments for the consignment have already been made. The shipment of the vaccine will take place as soon as possible, informed Sagar Dahal, Chief of the Department of Health Service, Family Welfare Division, Child Health, and Immunisation Section.
Nepal has imported 17.7 million doses of the vaccines against COVID-19, as of now. The government has planned to import 11.3 million doses for free under the COVAX sharing scheme for poorer countries, which is 20 per cent of the total target population. The United Nations' COVAX scheme targets to inoculate 20 per cent of the country's population.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved six different COVID-19 vaccines — Pfizer–BioNTech, Oxford–AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Janssen — as of June 2021.
Moreover, the government has planned to import 10.54 million doses of the vaccines within October 17 and 32.3 million doses until mid-April.
About 30 per cent of the target population has been given the first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 in Nepal while 28 per cent has already received the full dose.
Meanwhile, the government has the target to immunise 71.6 per cent or a total of 21,756,763 people above 18 years of age. It has been stated that 33 per cent of the targeted population would be immunised by October 17, two-thirds of the targeted population by January 14, 2022, and all the targeted population by April 13, 2022.
As of September 27, 2021, a total of 2,700,268 people have been administered the first dose of Covishield vaccines and 1,509,243 have been vaccinated with the booster dose. Likewise, 4,093,188 people have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Vero Cell vaccine while 3,170,732 others have received the second dose, the Ministry's data showed.
Similarly, a total of 1,447,892 persons — 195,794 in Province 1; 321,389 in Province 2; 380,928 in Bagmati Province; 122,176 in Gandaki Province; 254,074 in Lumbini Province, 72,345 in Karnali Province, and 138,371 in Sudurpaschim Province — have been vaccinated with single-shot Janssen vaccines.
The Ministry of Health and Population has stated that the pandemic can be contained if at least 60 per cent of the country's population is vaccinated.
The government has adopted the policy of bringing the vaccines on grants from countries supplying the vaccines and also by purchasing from China and India.