Nepal receives 1,497,600 doses of Moderna vaccine from COVAX

Nepal on Thursday received 1,497,600 doses of Moderna vaccine from the COVAX facility.

It is the second consignment and part of the 3,712,000 doses of Moderna vaccine committed by the facility, the international vaccine sharing scheme backed by the United Nations.

On December 4, the facility supplied 188,400 doses of the Moderna vaccine to Nepal.

“We have received 1,497,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the COVAX facility today (Thursday),” Badebabu Thapa, a senior officer at the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services, told the Post. “Third consignment of the vaccine is scheduled for Sunday.”

The facility will deliver 1,9 65,600 doses in the third consignment.

The Moderna vaccine is the fifth Covid-19 vaccine Nepal is going to use after AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Janssen and Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines.

Moderna vaccines need to be stored in minus 20 degrees Celsius.

As the authorities concerned have already stored the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in minus 70 degrees Celsius, the country will not have any problems storing the Moderna vaccine in minus 20 degrees Celsius, officials said.

“We will store the vaccine in the central store and dispatch it to the provinces and districts as per the enrollment plan,” said Thapa.

The COVAX on Wednesday supplied 600,000 doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine.

The Ministry of Health and Population said that the vaccine will be administered to children between 12 and 17 years.

Nepal also purchased 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine through COVAX’s cost-sharing scheme using the Asian Development Bank’s loan. The doses are expected to be delivered within the first quarter of 2022.

Nepal so far has received 27,147,440 doses of Covid-19 vaccines—Vero Cell, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Nepal launched its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on January 27 this year with 1 million doses of Covishield gifted by India.

Nepal needs to vaccinate around 78 percent of its over 30 million estimated population, or around 25 million people, as per the government’s new plan that includes those aged between 12 and 18 years. Earlier, the government had planned to vaccinate only those aged 15 years and above.

As of Thursday, 9,058,582 people (29.8 percent of the total population) have been fully vaccinated. 

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