By Mahima Devkota, Kathmandu, Jun. 14: Three-fourths of people who received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are waiting to get the second dose of vaccination across the country now.
According to National Immunisation Programme, only 691,494 people have received their second jabs against COVID-19, which constitutes just one-fourths of the population who received the first dose.
So far 2,658,964 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the country.
Chief of the National Immunisation Programme Dr. Jhalak Gautam, has credited the lack of sufficient vaccines and improper management from all levels to complete the vaccination cycle for all those who had received their first jabs.
On the question about the reason for the abrupt stop of the ongoing Vero Cell campaign, Dr. Gautam replied that the ongoing Vero Cell vaccination campaign was also halted owing to the mismanagement and favoritism from local levels.
Nepal launched its vaccination against COVID-19 from January 27 to February 22 on a priority basis, with frontline workers and health workers as a priority and elderly people as a second priority.
With the 1 million doses received by India as grant assistance, the first vaccination cycle was commenced in the country for people listed as a priority.
Dr Gautam said that with the vaccination of 443,106 Nepal commenced its vaccination campaign. The target was to inoculate 507,606, people, so it covered 87 per cent.
"Until February knocked on its door, Nepal decided to buy two million doses of Covishield from the Serum institution of India, which has received a license to produce Covishield under the brand name of Astra Zeneca. But, only one million doses were delivered to Nepal on February 21," he added.
Nepal received 3,48,000 of Covishield from WHO backed by COVAX facility on the very day it set out to inoculate elderly people under second priority from 7 to 23 March, citing the risk of infection of elderly people amid the first wave.
It has been said that the target was to inoculate 2,290,075 elderly people but 77 per cent of people succeeded to receive the vaccine.
“A total of 1,807,807 people received their first jabs on the first phase of vaccination as per first and second priority. 411,006 people, inoculated as priority received their second jabs, however, 1.3 million people listed as second priority got deprived of the second jab as India did not supply the remaining one million doses to Nepal”, said Dr. Gautam.
According to Dr. Tara Nath Pokhrel, director of the Family Welfare Division, a total of 8 lakhs of Vero Cell vaccine was delivered by China on March 29. With this, the first dose of Vero Cell Vaccine was to be administered in the country.
A total of 289,417 people listed as essential workers aged between 18 to 59 years were vaccinated.
From 16 May to 4 June, as many as 280,488 people were inoculated with their second dose of the Vero Cell vaccine.
Dr Pokhrel said that one lakh of the Vero Cell vaccine was left after completing the first phase of the inoculation cycle of the Vero Cell Vaccine. China further delivered 10 lakhs more vaccines to Nepal, making the total of 11 lakhs of Vero Cell vaccine in the country.