Govt preparing to bring vaccine against COVID-19 to reach 20 percent of population

File Photo. Photo Courtesy: Reuters

Kathmandu (Rastriya Samachar Samiti): The government is planning to bring the vaccine against Covid-19 to 20 percent of the people.

The Ministry of Health and Population has formed eight different sub-committees to prepare from vaccination to vaccination. According to Dr Jhalak Sharma Gautam, head of the Children and Immunization Services Branch, the ministry has started bringing vaccines to 20 per cent of the population at a concessional rate under the Covax facility of three organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO).

He said that it was not yet decided which vaccine to bring as the vaccine was still being tested. He informed that after vaccinating 20 percent of the people at the beginning, the vaccine will be brought to all gradually. The vaccine under Covax will be provided free of cost to Nepal. Vaccination will be provided free of cost to the poor and low income countries under CoVAX facility.

“As the vaccine is still in the third phase of testing, it is not certain which vaccine to bring,” he said.

According to Dr Sharma Gautam, the vaccines of Pfizer & Viontech Company (Russia), Moderna (USA), Gamalia (Russia) and Oxford Extrajenica (UK) are currently being tested and one of them will be brought home. After being registered in the country producing the vaccine, it will be registered with the WHO and then with the Department of Drug Administration of Nepal.

A Vaccination Secretariat has been formed under the coordination of Dr. Dipendra Man Singh, Director General of the Department of Health Services, and a Vaccine Fund Secretariat under the coordination of Dr. Gunaraj Lohani, Chief Expert of the Ministry.

Joint Spokesperson of the Ministry Dr. Sameer Kumar Adhikari informed that the government is working to bring in vaccines. According to him, the necessary amount for vaccination, storage after bringing the vaccine, giving vaccine to some people at the beginning, training of health workers on how to give the vaccine is being done.

He informed that discussions are underway with various diplomatic missions to bring the vaccine. “After the final test of the vaccine, we are preparing to bring the vaccine to Nepal,” he said. “If the final test of the vaccine is successful, the vaccine will also come to Nepal.” Vaccines produced in the world are now in the third phase. The vaccines are yet to be tested. In Nepal, the vaccine will be made available to the chronically ill, health workers and frontline staff at the beginning.

So far, corona infection has been seen in 238,861 people in Nepal. Similarly, 221,847 have been cured and 1,567 have died, according to the ministry.