Nepal receives 1,184,000 doses of Vero Cell vaccine bought through COVAXThe consignment is part of over 5.9 million doses bought with a loan provided by Asian Development Bank.
Nepal on Tuesday received 1,184,000 doses of Vero Cell vaccine purchased through COVAX’s cost-sharing mechanism.
The vaccine is part of over 5.9 million Covid-19 vaccine doses the country has purchased using a loan from the Asian Development Bank.
Dr Surendra Chaurasia, chief of the Logistics Management Section under the Department of Health Services, confirmed the delivery of the vaccine.
“We received the Vero Cell vaccine yesterday (Tuesday) from COVAX,” said Chaurasia. “It is the final consignment of the vaccine, we purchased through COVAX, using ADB’s loan.”
COVAX, the international vaccine sharing scheme backed by the United Nations helped Nepal procure Covid-19 jabs through a cost-sharing arrangement, meaning the country has to pay COVAX the price the facility paid to the manufacturing company.
Altogether, the country has received 40,387,927 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—Vero Cell AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Nepal has signed a concessional loan agreement with multilateral funding agencies like the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to support Nepal’s resilient 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 safe and effective vaccines against Covid-19.
Nepal and the World Bank also signed a $150 million (Rs17.78 billion) concessional loan agreement in June.
In August, Nepal became the second country globally to have completed agreements with GAVI, an international global vaccine alliance, to procure 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine with financing by the World Bank, under the COVAX’s cost-sharing arrangement. But the vaccine has not been supplied yet.
“We hope that the supply will be started at the earliest,” said Chaurasia. “We are informed that supply will start in the second week but the delivery date has not been confirmed yet.”
Nepal has so far used AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, Japan and Europe; Vero Cell vaccine developed by Sinopharm of China; the single-shot Janssen made by Johnson & Johnson in the United States, and Pfizer-BioNTech jointly developed by the firms based in Germany and the United States.
Nepal received 100,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the United States through COVAX on Monday.
Nepal started its campaign to vaccinate its citizens against Covid-19 on January 27 with the 1 million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
The COVAX facility has supplied 3,598,110 doses of vaccine (1,534,850 doses of single-shot Janssen, 1,614,740 doses of AstraZeneca, 348,000 doses of Covishield from AstraZeneca and 100,602 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine).
The country had earlier purchased 10 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine from the Chinese vaccine manufacturing company, Sinopharm, through a non-disclosure agreement.
Apart from this, the country also purchased 2 million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
China has provided 1.8 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine under grant assistance,
India gave 1.1 million doses of the Covishield vaccine, Bhutan supplied 230,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and the United Kingdom provided 130,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
The vaccines donated by Japan and the United States were provided through COVAX.
As of Tuesday, 11,336,538 (37.3 percent of the total population) have been fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.