How effective is Covid-19 vaccine in Nepal?
KATHMANDU: The government has been spending a huge sum of money to procure vaccines against Covid-19 in Nepal.
The government, which has been distributing vaccines free of cost to the people by purchasing from different countries, has not conducted any study on the effectiveness of the vaccines yet.
The vaccines will not completely reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19.
But, it has been believed that the COVID-19 vaccines protect people from getting infected and reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation and death.
In the case of Nepal, none of the agencies have conducted any comparative analysis of the people who have administered both doses of vaccines and those who have not received even the first dose of vaccine against Covid-19.
Earlier on August 5, popular comedian Sambhuraj Thapa succumbed to coronavirus infection. He was 64. He had not received the Covid-19 vaccine.
Thapa, who was tested positive for the Covid-19 a month ago, breathed his last during the course of treatment. His family members were of the opinion that he would have survived had he received vaccine against the Covid-19.
Hum Nath Acharya (72), ward chairman of Butwal Sub-Metropolitan City-18, lost his life to Covid-19. He had not received Covid-19 vaccines.
Earlier on August 19, Rajdhani National Daily Chairman Mahendra Sherchan died due to Covid-19. He breathed his last while receiving treatment. Sherchan was tested positive for Covid-19 before he was taken to India for further treatment.
Sherchan, who had no symptoms of Covid-19, had inoculated with both the doses. He was suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes for a long time.
These three instances showed that no one is immune to Covid-19.
Doctors have also been saying that those who have not received Covid-19 vaccines will have weak immunity systems. However, those who are fully vaccinated are also not safe from the virus.
Meanwhile, according to doctors, the death rate of people, who have not received the first dose of vaccine, is increasing in recent time.
Most of the people, who are been undergoing treatment at ICU and ventilators in different hospitals of Kathmandu, have been found not receiving even the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
Covid focal person of Armed Police Force (APF) Dr Prabin Nepal said that the number of Covid-19 patients have been decreasing of late. He further said that most of the people, who have been admitted to the ICU and ventilator of the hospital, are found to have not received the vaccines.
Covid focal person of Bir Hospital Dr Umesh Bogati said that the number of Covid-19 patients are decreasing lately in the hospital.
“The Covid-19 patients has been decreasing but people often come to the hospital asking for ICU,” he said.
The number of Covid-19 patients is less than 100 in Maharajgunj-based Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH).
Covid focal person of the hospital Ram Bikram Adhikari said that the Covid-19 patients have decreased at present.
Most of the people, who are admitted to the hospital, are found to have not received the vaccines. There are eight patients in the ventilator now.
Similarly, the number of Covid-19 patients are also decreasing in Teku, Norvic Grande and Patan hospitals among others. Most of the people have not received a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine.
How many people in Nepal have been vaccinated so far?
According to the report of the Health Ministry, a total of 10.12 million people have been administered vaccines against Covid-19 in Nepal. In which, 17 percent have received the first dose.
The Ministry said that 4.89 million people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Similarly, 5.53 million have been vaccinated with the first dose. As many as 71.6 percent or 21.7 million people have not been vaccinated yet.
As many as 1.36 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided by the United States.
Similarly, around 2 million people have already received a second dose of Vero Cell purchased and donated from China while 3 million have received only the first dose.
Likewise, a total of 1.232 million people have been fully vaccinated with Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Astrazeneca produced by Japan and Swedish Astrazeneca. The Ministry said that around 2.1 million people have received their first dose.
Nepal sees a drop in Covid-19 cases
According to the Health Ministry, 523 Covid-19 patients are undergoing treatment in ICU and 162 in ventilators.
The Ministry said that 29 are receiving treatment in ventilators in Bagmati Province while 90 are undergoing treatment in ICU and six in ventilators in Gandaki Province.
Similarly, 45 people are taking medical treatment in ICU and nine in ventilators in Lumbini Province.
Likewise, seven people in ICU and three in the ventilators in Karnali Province whereas eight are in ICU and six in ventilators in Sudurpaschim Province.
The Ministry said that 250 Covid-19 patients in general beds, 251 in HDU, 150 in ICU and 72 in ventilators in various hospitals of Kathmandu Valley.
Nepal received 13.3 million doses of Covid 19 vaccine so far
Nepal has received 13.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine so far. At the beginning, Nepal had received 1 million doses of Covidsheild from India. Later, Nepal purchased 1 million Covidshield from India. Nepal has received 2.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from India.
It has been learnt that 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine procured from India are yet to come.
Similarly, Nepal has bought 4 million doses of Vero Cell from China. Out of 4 million doses donated by China, Nepal has already received 1.8 million doses. Nepal is yet to receive 1.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine donated by China.
Likewise, Nepal has received 348,000 doses of vaccines from Bhutan and 1.5 million from Japan.
Nepal has received 1.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States and 100,000 from the UK, the Ministry said.
The government has already started the process to procure Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Meanwhile, spokesperson at the Health Ministry Dr Krishna Paudel said that the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines in Nepal has not been clarified yet.
“The government does not have clear details about the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines in Nepal,” he said.
The Ministry said that the Covid-19 cases have been dropped to 15 percent.