Four million Moderna doses arriving on Monday and TuesdayCOVAX and China are to supply two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and four million doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine, respectively.
Nepal will receive four million doses of Moderna vaccine on Monday and Tuesday, which were purchased in August last year.
The doses were purchased through COVAX's cost-sharing scheme using the Asian Development Bank’s loan.
“We have been told that the doses will arrive on Monday and Tuesday,” Dr Surendra Chaurasia, chief of the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services. “We will use the Moderna vaccine for children between 12 and 17 years.”
The government has started inoculating children aged 12 to 17 with the Moderna vaccine supplied by the COVAX facility, the United Nations backed international vaccine sharing scheme, from December 20 last year. The facility had supplied 3,712,000 doses of Moderna vaccine.
Some children of the said age group from 20 districts, including the three districts of Kathmandu Valley—Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur, were also inoculated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine supplied by COVAX.
Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Population had said that it would administer Moderna vaccine to children of the said age group in 57 districts but later changed the decision after it became certain that it will get sufficient doses of Moderna vaccine for children between 12 and 17 years.
Vaccination of children of the said age group is still continuing in schools of several districts.
The Health Ministry said that the COVAX facility has committed to supply two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine soon. Likewise, the government is expected to get four million doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine from China.
“We have not been informed about the flight schedule but have been told that the vaccine will be supplied soon,” added Chaurasia.
If the Sinovac-CoronaVac vaccine is delivered, it will be the sixth Covid-19 vaccine used in Nepal. The country so far has used AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Moderna, Janssen, and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
Nepal needs to vaccinate around 27 million of the little over 30 million population, as around three million are children under five years of age. Authorities had decided to inoculate children between five and 11 but no deal has been reached so far to purchase vaccines for them.
Nepal has so far received 40,388,840 doses Covid-19 vaccines—AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Moderna, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech.
Until now, 12,870,867 people or 42.4 percent of the total population have been fully vaccinated. The Health Ministry said that 142,589 people have taken booster shots as of Saturday.
On Saturday, 10,254 people tested positive—8,212 in 14,462 polymerase chain reaction tests and 2,042 in 5,725 antigen tests.
In the last 24 hours, 16 people died from Covid-19. Active cases stand at 72,862. Of them, 71,261 people are in home isolation.