The first batch of anti Covid-19 vaccines provided by the Government of Japan to Nepal has arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), today.

Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, Kikuta Yutaka handed over the vaccines to Umesh Shrestha, Minister of State for Health and Population, amidst a brief ceremony held at the TIA.

In a press release issued today, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), stated that the second batch of the vaccines will arrive in Kathmandu tomorrow evening. The remaining half of the total promised doses will be brought to Nepal soon.

Earlier last month, Japan had announced that it will provide about 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal through the vaccine sharing scheme COVAX.

The Government of Nepal said that it sincerely appreciates the Government of Japan for this generous provision of life-saving vaccine to Nepal through COVAX.

Close to 1.30 million Nepalis above the age of 65 that had received the first dose of AstraZeneca (Covishield) in March, have yet to receive the second dose owing to India's ban on export of Covid-vaccines. Therefore, new batch of vaccines will be administered to the senior citizens who are awaiting the second shot.

Meanwhile, the Government of Bhutan on Friday sent 300,000 surplus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Nepal.

The government announced Friday that it would roll out the vaccination drive to inoculate the senior citizens awaiting their booster dose from August 9. The arrival of around 300,000 doses of surplus AstraZeneca vaccine from Bhutan on Friday and another 1.6 million AZ vaccines donated by Japan today has allowed the government to finally schedule the vaccination drive.