By Mahima Devkota, Kathmandu, Nov. 8: A large number of vaccines against COVID-19 have got stuck in the store due to the lack of eagerness on the part of the people to get vaccinated for the third time.
People's negligence to get additional doses is reflected in the low number of people who got vaccinated in the last two months.
Health officials say that there are enough vaccinations for administering.
A total of 5,763,411 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 are in stock, according to the record of the Department of Health Services.
There are 4,363,982 doses of Vero cell, 34,245 of Johson & Johnson, 711,344 of Pfizer Tris and 653,840 of Pfizer Pediatric vaccines stored at 10 different vaccine storages across the country.
Dr. Bibek Kumar Lal, Director of the Department of Health Services, said that there are enough vaccines to administer to people who want vaccination or additional doses.
However, the vaccination campaign has been going slow since the cases have subsided significantly, and the campaign is at a snail's pace, especially after festivals such as Dashain and Tihar, he added.
He said, "The vaccines in the stock can cover people who have missed their jabs. Gavi is giving vaccines to Nepal. However, the vaccine provided by Gavi and currently stored is expiring this November. So, we are holding discussions about procuring vaccines from other agencies as well.
He said that problems such as the lack of willingness of people to get vaccinated, festival season, and lack of news media coverage are the very reasons for the slowdown of the vaccination campaign. In order to address that a mass awareness campaign at all local levels is needed.
According to DoHS, a total number of 7,972,791 are to get additional doses while there are 5,763,411 doses of vaccines stored.
Dr Sher Bahadur Pun, Clinical Research Unit at Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital in Teku, said that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is still there, but vaccination has decreased significantly the severity and hospitalization due to the coronavirus infection.
However, a situation of 100 percent vaccinated is the best way to be safe from COVID-19, especially at this time when the election is approaching and mass gatherings has been a norm. A two-dose vaccination is a must, but, additional doses against COVID-19 should not be missed out as well.
Government daily vaccine not updated since September 13 update
Director Lal clarified that lack of coordination and reporting from local levels resulted in the lack of updates on the daily COVID-19 vaccination status for many days in the last month.