All you need to know about Nepal’s vaccination statusAs of August 23, the country has received 13,227,590 doses of vaccine, 16.47 percent of the population have taken the first doses and 12.85 percent have been fully vaccinated.
The 1.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine–the final consignment of which arrived on Monday–come as a shot in the arm for Nepal, as it continues to struggle to secure doses to vaccinate at least 72 percent of the 30 million population at the earliest. The government also plans to purchase 6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 12 to 18 years. But the initial priority is to vaccinate the population above 14 years of age, which makes up around 22 million. The 1.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan, which were received in four tranches, are required to administer the second doses to those 1.4 million people aged 65 and above who took their first shots in the second week of March. After the second wave from April that quickly slid into a devastating crisis, claiming more than 6,000 people, cases have gradually declined but with the start of the festive season, public health experts have warned of a sudden surge of infections. Vaccination is the only sure shot method to control the disease as of now, apart from taking precautionary measures and following health safety protocols.
Here is what you need to know about Nepal’s vaccination status.
How many people have been vaccinated so far?
As of Monday, 4,943,732 people (16.47 percent) have taken their first dose of vaccine and 3,857,598 people (12.85 percent) have been fully vaccinated, either with the AstraZeneca vaccine (manufactured in India, Japan, and Europe), Vero Cell, developed by China’s Sinopharm, and Janssen by Johnson and Johnson of the United States of America.
How many doses Nepal has received so far and from where?
As of Monday (August 23), the country has received 13,227,590 doses of vaccines–AstraZeneca, Vero Cell and Janssen.
Nepal launched its vaccination campaign on January 27 with the 1 million doses of Covishield received in grant assistance from India. Covishield is the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
In the first week of March, COVAX, an international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations, supplied 348,000 doses of Covishield. At the end of March, 800,000 doses of Vero Cell were brought in from China, which Beijing had provided under grant assistance. An additional 1 million doses of Vero Cell under Chinese grant then arrived again in June.
On March 28, the Indian Army had provided 100,000 doses of Covishield to the Nepal Army. The doses were used to vaccinate Army personnel and their dependents.
On July 12, a little over 1.5 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen) landed in Kathmandu. The vaccine was provided by the United States through COVAX.
On August 6, the government of Bhutan delivered 230,000 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine to Nepal.
On August 7 and 8, Japan shipped 513,420 doses and 333,900 doses, respectively, to Nepal as part of its commitment to providing 1.6 million doses through COVAX. Then on August 21, as many as 208,060 doses were supplied to Nepal. Two days later, the remaining 559,360 doses were delivered.
How many doses has Nepal bought?
The government in February signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India to buy 2 million doses of Covishield. In the same month, the Serum Institute supplied 1 million doses but stopped shipment of additional doses, citing the coronavirus crisis in India. The remaining 1 million doses have not arrived yet.
From China, Nepal has purchased 10 million doses of Vero Cell.
Of them, 4 million doses of the vaccine were bought in June under a non-disclosure agreement with the Chinese company and an additional 6 million doses were purchased a few weeks ago, and the delivery has already started. On August 19, China delivered 1.6 million doses of the 6 million doses.
Nepal has so far received the delivery of 7.4 million doses of Vero Cell out of which 5.6 million were bought while 1.8 million were received on grants from China.
China has promised an additional 1.6 million doses of Vero Cell in grant.
What is the country’s current Covid-19 status?
After 2,020 new coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday, the nationwide infection tally has reached 751,001 with 38,250 active cases.
The Covid-19 death toll stands at 10,568.
Are more vaccines coming?
Earlier this month, the government said over 42 million doses of vaccine will arrive by mid-February next year. The Ministry of Health and Population has confirmed that it has been working to purchase an additional 6 million doses of the Vero Cell vaccine from China.
The government has already paid for 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine through the World Bank to the US manufacturer of the vaccine, and delivery is expected by mid-February.
Also expected by mid-February is 11 million doses from COVAX under a cost-sharing mechanism, which means the government will pay COVAX the amount equivalent to what COVAX paid to the manufacturing company.
The government says it has also initiated the process to procure 6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which it says will be administered to children between 12 to 17 years.
How many people Nepal needs to vaccinate?
Around 78 percent of the 30 million population–or around 25 million people need to be vaccinated, as per the government’s new plan to also vaccinate those aged between 12 and 14. The government earlier planned to vaccinate only those aged above 14 years. Since around 4-5 million people are said to be living abroad, the government needs to vaccinate around 19-20 million people. For this, the country needs a little over 40 million doses of double-shot vaccine.
As COVAX has committed to providing around 13 million doses, enough to vaccinate 20 percent of the population, the government needs to manage around 30 million doses on its own.