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COVID-19 vaccine drive resumes in Nepal

ANI | Updated: Jun 09, 2021 00:03 IST

Bhaktapur [Nepal], June 9 (ANI): Stalled for several months due to shortage of COVID-19 vaccine, the inoculation drive in Nepal resumed on Tuesday after it received one million shots of China-made Vero Cell last week.
With the resumption of the inoculation, senior citizens between 60 to 64 years queued up in vaccination centers around Kathmandu Valley and all seven provinces of the Himalayan nation to receive the shot.
"I am happy because this would help me in defending the coronavirus," Prem Lal Ranjit, a 64-year old from Bhaktapur told ANI after receiving the first dose of vaccine.
Nepal started the inoculation drive in January with Covishield vaccines after it received one million doses on a grant basis from India.
Later in the month, Nepal ordered additional two million doses of vaccines on a commercial basis but got delivery of half of it. With the onset of the second wave of infection in India and difficulty in procuring vaccines, Nepal halted the inoculation drive.

Though Nepal has started using the China-made Vero Cell to inoculate senior citizens, people are not yet sure whether they will get a second or the final complete booster dose.
"We aren't that sure about whether it will come or not. If there is a call for a second dose then we will go to receive it, otherwise we don't have any other option," Krishna Kumari, another senior citizen.
Chinese vaccines cost double of the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot by produced by Serum Institute of India.
Moreover, Brazil study involving roughly 13,000 people had earlier found the Chinese shot to be just 50.38 per cent effective against symptomatic infections, barely crossing the WHO's 50 per cent standard and way lower than other vaccines in the world.
Brazil recently stopped production of Sinovac vaccine as Beijing is reportedly not sending ingredients due to "diplomatic ill-will" over criticism of China.
According to Nepal's Ministry of Health and Population, 21,130,80 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 715,163 people have been inoculated with the second dose so far. (ANI)