Second shot of Covid-19 vaccine to be administered from April 20Around 438,000 people who took their first jab between January 27 and March 5 should take the booster dose between April 20 and April 24.
People who took their first dose of vaccine against Covid-19 in the first phase from January 27 to March 5 will be administered the second shot between April 20 and April 24, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.
As many as 438,000 people were inoculated in the first phase after the government launched its vaccination drive on January 27 with the 1 million doses of Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, which the Indian government had provided to Nepal under grant assistance.
According to Dr Roshan Pokharel, chief specialist at the Health Ministry, the government plans to inoculate frontline health workers, security personnel, prisoners, people at old age homes, journalists, elected representatives, civil servants, diplomats and staffers at local governments across the country, who had taken their first dose, from April 20 to April 24.
Likewise, the government is also preparing to administer the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine to those who got vaccinated in the second phase from May 16.
In the second phase from March 7 to March 15, people above 65 years of age were vaccinated. A little over 1.35 million people had taken the first dose during that period. Nepal received a supply of one million doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute on February 21. This was part of the 2 million doses for which Nepal paid the manufacturer 80 percent in advance. The remaining 1 million doses are yet to arrive.
Nepal currently has 500,000 doses in stock, just enough to give booster dose to those who took the first shot in the first phase.
Officials at the Health Ministry say they are planning to provide the second dose to those who were administered the jabs in the second phase of the immunisation drive with the remaining one million doses that they are expecting to receive from the Serum Institute soon.
“We have been asking the manufacturer to deliver the vaccine for which we have already paid,” said Pokhrel. “We hope that the company will supply the vaccine by mid-May.”
Those taking the vaccine in the second phase of the campaign need to be administered the second dose of vaccine from May 16 to 29.
Pokhrel said that the government is also expecting delivery of the vaccine under the World Health Organisation-backed COVAX facility, by mid-May, which will also be used for the second dose.
Nepal has so far received 348,000 doses of vaccine under the COVAX facility, which has committed to providing around 13 million doses for free to inoculate 20 percent of the 30 million population.