China pledges additional 1.6 million vaccine doses to NepalBeijing has already provided 1.8 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine on two occasions.
China will provide an additional 1.6 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines to Nepal in grant assistance, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi informed Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Friday.
With this announcement, China has become by far the largest vaccine donating country to Nepal. In total, Nepal will receive 3.4 million doses of Chinese vaccines.
Nepal has also bought four million doses of Vero Cell vaccines from China under a non-disclosure agreement, of which 800,000 doses have been received.
During a courtesy call on Prime Minister Deuba at his official residence Friday afternoon, the Chinese ambassador made the announcement, according to a statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“She also conveyed to the Prime Minister the recent decision of the Government of the People’s Republic of China to provide Nepal with 1.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines as an additional grant assistance,” the ministry said.
Nepal has also received 1.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from India, 348,000 AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility, 1.5 million doses of single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the United States through COVAX. Japan has also announced a grant of 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX facility but it is unclear when they will arrive.
Other than vaccines manufactured by the state-owned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm of China, Nepal has received 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India that it bought. It is yet to deliver the 1 million vaccines that Nepal has paid for. Serum Institute of India could not supply the 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which it markets under the brand name Covishield, after the Indian government restricted their export as the second wave hit India.
As of Friday, 9.1 percent of the total population of Nepal have received at least one dose of C0vid-19 vaccines while 3.9 percent of the total population have been fully vaccinated with two doses.
Nepal plans to inoculate 72 percent of its 30 million population as 28 percent of the population is under the age of 14.According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the courtesy call on Prime Minister Deuba, various matters pertaining to Nepal-China relations were discussed. Ambassador Hou assured that China will continue its support to Nepal in its fight against Covid-19 pandemic including, while Prime Minister Deuba thanked the Chinese government for this vaccine support and expressed hope that China will enhance its support to Nepal for both Covid-19 response and recovery.