COVAX to provide 350,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 600,000 doses of J&J vaccine
Preparation to bring vaccines in July
KATHMANDU: COVAX has committed to providing 348,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 600,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines against COVID-19 to Nepal.
Coordinator of the COVID vaccination advisory committee formed by the government, Shyam Raj Upreti provided this information.
He said they received a letter stating the Oxford-developed AstraZeneca vaccine is to be made available by July.
Balananda Sharma, Chief of the board of directors of the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC), said that the supply bottleneck would be lifted soon as the process of purchasing vaccines from China also begins.
According to Upreti, Nepal is about to get the vaccine collected by rich countries in COVAX.
Nepal immediately requested 1.4 million doses of vaccines, but the time of arrival is not certain. The BBC quoted Family Welfare Division Chief Dr Taranath Pokhrel, “We will know the number of vaccines we will receive in a week, and they will be supplied in a month.”
Earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was preparing to purchase 5 million doses of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. Before being forced to leave the post of Foreign Minister, Raghubir Mahaseth had said that the World Bank was preparing to purchase the vaccine as the government was not directly involved in the purchase.
Nepal is preparing to purchase 4 million doses of vaccine from China’s Sinopharm as per the non-disclosure agreement. However, the price and quantity of the Sinopharm vaccine from China have not been disclosed. At the CCMC meeting held last week, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had said that vaccination would start in mid-July.
Upreti also informed that there has been no progress in the supply of the remaining 1 million doses of vaccine to be brought from India.