KATHMANDU– Nepal yesterday received a fresh shipment of 1.6 million Vero Cell vaccine jabs, granted by the Chinese government to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official from the Nepali Ministry of Health and Population said.
“China-donated 1.6 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine arrived in the country yesterday afternoon,” Upendra Dhungana, chief of the Logistic Management Section, under the Department of Health Services, told Xinhua.
China has become the largest source of vaccines for Nepal by providing to its southern neighbour nearly 15 million doses of the Vero Cell vaccine, developed by the Chinese Sinopharm company through the grant, commercial purchase and the COVAX mechanism, and the efficacy and efficiency of the vaccine has been widely accepted by the Nepalese, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Hou Yanqi said, at the handover ceremony held at the Health Ministry.
Hou voiced China’s readiness to work with Nepal, to implement initiatives relating to cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines and green development, under the Belt and Road Initiative by forging a closer partnership.
“As we are seeking to vaccinate all the population against COVID-19 by mid-Apr next year, cooperation and facilitation from China in delivering the vaccine are very helpful in achieving the target,” said Birodh Khatiwada, Minister for Health and Population, in Nepal.
Nepali health officials said, the new Chinese vaccine shots would soon be dispatched to various districts to vaccinate more of the population.
“The District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centres have been authorized to determine who should be vaccinated with the newly-arrived vaccine shots,” Sagar Dahal, chief of the National Immunisation Programme under the Ministry of Health and Population, told Xinhua.
Nepal, battered now by two waves of the virus, started its vaccination campaign in late Jan, and 8.71 million of the 30 million population have received the first dose by yesterday, while 7.38 million have been fully vaccinated.
Of them, 5.82 million have been administered first shot with the Chinese vaccine, and 4.16 million with two doses of the Chinese jab, according to the health ministry.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK