Maldives supplies 201,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to NepalThe country is also getting 1.9 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine in grant from China in the next couple of days.
The government of Maldives on Sunday delivered 201,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal.
The surplus doses provided by the Maldives have to be used within a month prior to their expiry.
“We received 201,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine today [Sunday] supplied by the government of Maldives,” Badebabu Thapa, a senior official at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services, told the Post. “A Qatar Airways plane that landed at 8:15 pm in Kathmandu brought the jabs.”
Earlier, Bhutan had supplied 230,000 doses of surplus AstraZeneca type vaccine.
The doses had around a week before expiry when they were delivered to Nepal.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said that 1.9 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine will arrive within two to three days from China. The doses are part of the northern neighbour’s grant assistance to the government and Nepal Army.
China has pledged to provide 1.6 million doses to the government and 300,000 doses separately to the Army.
Apart from this, the Chinese government has pledged to provide 2 million doses [vaccine brand unspecified] and 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine to Nepal.
“In the next two to three days we will get 1.9 million doses of Vero Cell Vaccine from China,” Upendra Dhungana, chief of the Logistic Management Section at the Department of Health Services, told the Post.
Earlier, China had provided 1.8 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance. Apart from this, the Chinese Red Cross provided 100,000 Vero Cell doses to the Nepal Red Cross Society, which was used by the Health Ministry.
Nepal had purchased 10 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine through a non-disclosure agreement with Sinopharm.
Separately, the government has purchased over 5.9 million doses of vaccine through COVAX’s cost-sharing mechanism. Of this, COVAX last week supplied 1.02 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine. The vaccine was purchased using a loan from the Asian Development Bank.
Earlier, the government had purchased 2 million doses of Covishield, jointly developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, from the Serum Institute of India.
The government has also signed a separate deal to purchase 4 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
Nepal so far has used AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, Japan and Europe; Vero Cell vaccine developed by Sinopharm of China; and the single-shot Janssen made by Johnson & Johnson in the United States.
Nepal had launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 27 with the 1 million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Altogether, the country has received 20,179,810 doses of Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
As of Sunday, 7,189,689 people (23.7 percent of the total population) have been fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.
Nepal needs to vaccinate around 78 percent of its 30 million population—or around 25 million people—as per the government’s new plan that includes vaccinating all those aged between 12 and 18 years. Earlier the government had planned to vaccinate only those aged 15 years and above.
Since around 4 to 5 million people are estimated 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 vaccines.
Vaccines received so far
Vero Cell: 12,920,000 doses
AstraZeneca :5,624,340 doses
Janssen: 1,534,850 doses
Pfizer-BionTech: 100,620 doses
Total : 20,179,810