The government has informed that the vaccine against corona virus cannot be made available immediately. Speaking at the Covid Update of the Ministry of Health and Population on Sunday, Dr. Taranath Pokhrel, Chief of the Ministry’s Family Welfare Division, said that the covishield vaccine was not likely to be available immediately.
As many as 1.3 million people over the age of 65 across the country and over 55 years of age in 14 districts who took the first dose of Covisild after March 8 will not be able to get the second dose immediately. The World Health Organization recommends a second dose at 9 to 12 weeks after the first dose. But even with various efforts, it will not be available, said Dr. Pokharel. “It’s been about 11 weeks since the first dose was given,” he said.
Stating that the Ministry of Health has taken a diplomatic initiative for vaccination and is in touch with companies for procurement, Pokhrel said that the World Health Organization has recommended an alternative to covishield vaccine and discussed with donors about obtaining other vaccines available from covax.
He said that the government of Nepal is taking initiative to provide second dose of Covishield, Astragenica or Eskibio vaccine in any case to the donors, especially to Covax facility, about the second dose of Covax recommended by the World Health Organization. Stating that he did not know the exact date of receipt of the vaccine, he said that he was preparing to administer the second dose to those who had received the first dose even after 12 weeks of receiving the vaccine.
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Anup Subedi says that the vaccine made by Oxford Astragenica Company is made under different names in different countries and it does not make any difference when vaccinated of the same nature. “The second dose of AstraZeneca is a vaccine made in another country,” he said.
The government started vaccinating senior citizens above 65 years of age across the country after March 8, and also vaccinated people above 55 years of age in 14 districts.
Inaugurating the vaccination campaign against corona on January 29, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had announced that the vaccine would be made available to all Nepalis within three months. He said, “We will provide vaccines to all Nepalis within three months.” We will provide this vaccine free of charge on a non-discriminatory basis. ‘
Further confusion has arisen after the ministry said that the vaccine could not be given immediately if the commitment announced by the prime minister was not fulfilled.
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