Ward chiefs say they feel relieved as City starts administering second vaccine doseBhaktapur and Lalitpur will start administering the second dose of Chinese vaccine from Monday and Wednesday.
The city, which is reeling under spiralling coronavirus cases, started giving the second dose to those who had received their first jab between April 7 and April 28. The city plans to continue the vaccination drive until May 25 for people aged 18 to 59.
Meanwhile, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur districts have decided to start administering the second dose of the Chinese vaccine from Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
The government began vaccinating people with the 800,000 doses of the BBIBP-CorV vaccine that China provided in grant from April 7.
Last week, the District Administration Office Kathmandu had recommended that all the local units should start administering the second dose from May 15.
Some wards of the City saw a large number of people queuing up for vaccination on a hot summer Sunday while a few other wards saw smaller crowds.
“We had an overwhelming number of people. Over 600 people got their vaccines on Sunday. It was quite difficult to handle the crowd,” said Nawaraj Parajuli, Ward -32 chief. He said as his ward borders Bhaktapur district, some people from Bhaktapur also got their second dose at his ward.
“Only those who had the first dose vaccination cards were given the second doses,” said Parajuli. On Sunday people who had received their first doses between April 7 and 12 were administered the second doses.
Ward-32, which includes areas like Jadibuti and Koteshwar, is the second most Covid-19 affected ward in the entire City. The City’s latest data show there are 814 active Covid-19 cases in Ward 32.
Parajuli said he is now optimistic that cases will start to drop in his ward if more people are vaccinated. Until now 16 of his ward residents have died from Covid-19.
A few weeks ago, amid rising infections and shortage of hospital beds and oxygen, several ward chiefs and officials had gone out of contact by switching off their phones after being unable to hand non-stop phone calls from ward residents asking for support
Meanwhile, Mukunda Rijal, the chief of Ward-16, said the vaccination drive has brought some relief to his ward residents and himself. His ward includes Sorhakhutte and Naya Basti areas.
“Many ward residents who had received their first doses of the Indian vaccine have been inquiring with me about the second dose,” said Rijal.
People aged 65 years and above who had been administered the first dose of AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute India under the brand name of Covishield are still awaiting their second doses.
They were given their first doses between March 7 and 15 but it is unclear when will they get their second doses as the Indian manufacturer has yet to deliver 1 million doses of the vaccine for which Nepal has already made the payment. The supply has become uncertain after the Indian government banned export of the vaccine amid record spike in infections and deaths there.
Meanwhile, those who had received the first dose of the Chinese vaccine later than the over 65s have started getting the second dose.
“Over 600 people got their second jabs here. People took the vaccines while maintaining social distance,” said Rijal.
According to the City's Public Health Department, sixty percent of Covid-19 infected people from Kathmandu district are from the City. On Sunday Kathmandu district alone reported 1,881 new cases of Covid-19.
On Sunday the country recorded 7,316 new cases of Covid-19 with 145 Covid-19 related fatalities which included the number of deaths managed by the Nepal Army on different dates. The Kathmandu Valley recorded 2,609 new infections in the past 24 hours.
Among the wards of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Ward-16 has the most number of active infections. It has 854 active cases out of the total 9,541 in the whole city.
“I was tired of phone calls from people inquiring about vaccines. Finally, we have started administering the second dose,” said Rijal via phone.
“Your job is especially hectic if you are a local representative of the ward with the most number of active infections. Although it was late, vaccinations have resumed and this is commendable,” said Rijal.
Last month, when the government enforced the prohibitory orders, the Kathmandu District Health Office had suspended the vaccination campaign launched for everyone between 18-59 years.
Meanwhile, ward-27 chairman Chiniyaman Bajracharya said his ward saw very few people coming for the second dose. His ward comprises New Road, Mahabauddha areas.
“Just 180 people showed up for the second dose, so our vaccination center was almost empty,” said Bajracharya. He said being a business district, very few people live there. “Besides, many people from the area had received the Indian vaccine in their first dose so they are waiting for the second dose of the vaccine,” said Bajracharya.
Bajracharya’s ward has 57 active infections, according to the City’s data.
Hari Kunwar, the chief of the public health division at the city, says the vaccination centers at wards that border Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts remained especially crowded throughout the day.
“People from both Lalitpur and Bhaktapur came for vaccines so it was crowded, we administered jabs to all those who showed their cards,” said Kunwar. “Once Lalitpur and Bhaktapur start administering the second doses, the crowding problem at Kathmandu’s wards will be over,” said Kunwar.