Kathmandu, Aug 6 | Nepal on Friday received 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines supplied by Bhutan, which comes as a relief for the senior citizens who are awaiting a second jab.
“We received the consignment this morning,” said R.P. Biccha, Director General at Nepal’s Department of Health Services.
After completing the inoculation of 90 per cent of its population, Bhutan had a surplus of 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines.
Before delivering the doses, the Bhutanese government, AstraZeneca and Kathmandu reached a tripartite agreement where Nepal had committed that it will return them once it will have surplus doses.
The vaccine package was received by senior official from the Foreign and Health Ministries at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.
Around 1.4 million people aged 65 and above in Nepal who were given the first shots of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, in the second week of March, have been waiting for their second doses.
However, the government has not been able to secure any additional AstraZeneca doses.
Nepal has so far has received 9.782 million doses of vaccine.
Of the total, 4 million doses were procured by the government from Vero Cell from China and 1 million doses of Covishield from India.
India has provided 1.1 million doses of Covishield under grant assistance.
Over 1.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived from the US, under COVAX, in Nepal on July 12
China, which has already donated 1.8 million doses of Vero Cell, developed and manufactured by the state-owned Sinopharm, has promised an additional 1.6 million doses to Nepal.