Nepal receives 972,000 doses of Covishield vaccine from COVAXIt is part of over 6 million doses committed to Nepal. The first consignment of 725,550 doses was delivered on Monday.
Nepal on Wednesday received 972,000 doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, from the COVAX facility.
The consignment is part of the over 6 million doses the facility, an international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations, has committed to provide to Nepal.
“We have received 972,000 doses of Covishield from COVAX today (Wednesday),” Badebabu Thapa, a senior official at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services, told the Post.
The first consignment of 725,550 doses was delivered on Monday.
Nepal so far has received 24,861,440 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Nepal launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 27 this year with 1 million doses of Covishield gifted by India.
Nepal needs to vaccinate around 78 percent of its over 30 million estimated 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 Tuesday, 8,437,860 people (27.8 percent of the total 30 million population) have been fully vaccinated.
Officials at the Health Ministry claimed that over 34 million doses of different types of vaccines will arrive in the country in the next two months.
Of the over 34 million doses, COVAX will supply 2,188,800 doses of single-shot Janssen, 3,712,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and 3,364,000 doses of AstraZeneca.
All the said doses are scheduled to arrive by December this year.
Apart from this, the COVAX facility is also providing 6,039,000 doses of AstraZeneca and the shipment is expected to arrive within December.
China is providing 3 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine scheduled to arrive this month.
The government has also purchased 5,936,400 doses of Vero Cell under the COVAX facility’s cost-sharing scheme, with the loan provided by the Asian Development Bank. Of the 5,936,400 doses, the facility has already delivered 2,078,000 doses. A consignment of the remaining doses is likely to arrive by December.
Nepal has also signed concessional loan agreements with multilateral funding agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank as part of their support to Nepal’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In August, the Asian Development Bank and the Nepal government signed a $165 million (nearly Rs20 billion) loan agreement to purchase vaccines against Covid-19.
The government has also purchased additional 500,000 doses of Vero Cell vaccine through the COVAX cost-sharing scheme using Asian Development Bank’s loan. The doses are scheduled to arrive within the first quarter of 2022.
Authorities have also purchased 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine from the Asian Development Bank’s loan, also through COVAX’s cost-sharing scheme. The doses are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2022.
Moreover, the government has bought 6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the US with the World Bank’s loan.