492,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrive from Switzerland348,000 doses are provided by COVAX and remaining 144,000 doses are gifted by Swiss government.
Nepal on Wednesday received 492,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine provided by the Switzerland government and the COVAX facility, an international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations.
A Qatar Airways plane carrying the vaccine landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at 8:15 pm.
“We have received 492,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Switzerland,” Badebabu Thapa, a senior official at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services, told the Post.
Of the 492,000 doses, 348,000 doses were provided by the COVAX facility and remaining 144,000 doses were gifted by the Switzerland government under grant assistance, according to Thapa.
Nepal so far has received 22,571,810 doses of Covid-19 vaccines–Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Earlier on Monday, the People’s Liberation Army of China had provided 300,000 doses of Vero Cell vaccine to the Nepal Army.
Nepal has purchased 10 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine through a non-disclosure agreement from China.
From India, the government purchased 2 million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine.
Separately, the government has purchased over 5.9 million doses of the vaccine through COVAX’s cost-sharing mechanism. Of this, COVAX supplied 1.02 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine.
Another consignment is scheduled to arrive on Thursday.
The vaccine was purchased using a loan from the Asian Development Bank.
The government has also decided to purchase 10 million doses of vaccine from the US firms (4 million doses of Moderna vaccine and 6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine).
Nepal so far has used AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, Japan and Europe; Vero Cell developed by Sinopharm of China; and the single-shot Janssen made by Johnson & Johnson in the United States.
Nepal launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 27 with 1 million doses of Covishield gifted by India.
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 those aged between 12 and 18 years. Earlier, the government had planned to vaccinate only those aged 15 years and above.
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 vaccines.
As of Wednesday, 7,482195 people (24.6percent of the total population) have been fully vaccinated.