Children between 12 and 17 years to be given Moderna jabs from December 20The vaccine will be rolled out in 57 districts. Pfizer-BioNTech doses have already been administered in 20 other districts.
Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine will be administered to children between 12 to 17 years of age in 57 districts from December 20.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, the vaccine will not be administered in 20 districts, where the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was administered earlier.
“We will roll out the Moderna vaccine from December 20 in 57 districts,” Sagar Dahal, chief of National Immunisation Programme, told the Post. “Vaccines will be administered to children at their schools.”
After poor response from the priority groups—immunity compromised people–health authorities had opened the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children between 12 and 17 years on November 22.
Officials said that the local units have already been urged to make a list of children eligible for the jabs.
Nepal received 1,497,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the COVAX facility on Thursday.
It is the second consignment and part of the 3,712,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine committed by the facility, the international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations.
On December 4, the facility supplied 188,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine to Nepal.
The third consignment of the vaccine is scheduled to arrive on Sunday. The facility will deliver 1,965,600 doses in the third consignment, according to Badebabu Thapa, a senior official at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services.
The Moderna vaccine is the fifth Covid-19 vaccine to be used in Nepal after AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines.
Moderna vaccines need to be stored in minus 20 degrees Celsius.
Nepal also purchased 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine through COVAX’s cost-sharing scheme using an Asian Development Bank loan. The doses are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2022.
Dahal said that the estimated population of the children between 12 and 17 years is around 3.5 million but the target group of the existing Moderna vaccines is only 1.8 million children.
“We will have sufficient doses for the 1.8 million children,” said Dahal.
Nepal so far has received 27,147,440 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
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.
As of Thursday, 9,058,582 people (29.8 percent of the total population) have been fully vaccinated.