KATHMANDU, AUGUST 6
As many as 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines have arrived from Bhutan in Kathmandu, today.
The vaccine package landed at Tribhuvan International Airport at 9:15 am.
Bhutan supplied the surplus doses it had earlier received from various countries and the COVAX facility to Nepal after completely vaccinating its citizens.
The consignment follows a tripartite agreement between Nepal government, Bhutan government and AstraZeneca, as per which surplus vaccines would be forwarded to a country in need of those vaccines.
Senior citizens that have already received the first dose of COVISHIELD in March, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, will now receive the AZ jabs.
There are around 1.3 million Nepalis above the age of 65 that have received the first dose of SIL manufactured vaccine in the country.
Meanwhile, Japan is also sending 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal through the COVAX facility which is reportedly scheduled to arrive this Saturday.
The arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Bhutan and incoming vaccines from Japan has brought much-needed respite for the senior Nepali citizens who have lived for the last few months in uncertainty for their booster shot.
Nepal Government had purchased 2 million doses of COVISHIELD from SIL of which only one million was delivered which was then administered to senior citizens.
However, with India banning the export of vaccines with the arrival of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, SIl had expressed its inability to deliver the remaining one million doses of vaccine leaving millions of senior citizens in the country in limbo. This had caused widespread criticism of the then government over its inability to manage vaccine procurement.