National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina has said all the citizens should be administered the full dose of vaccine against COVID-19 by the upcoming election.

He stressed that political parties should also bring forward the vaccination topic with utmost priority.

The Chair of the Upper House of the federal Parliament said this while addressing an interaction programme on 'Communication Risk Related to Vaccines against COVID-19 and Community Participation' organised jointly by the Ministry of Health and Population and the World Health Organisation here today.

Timilsina asked the political parties to prioritise the task of declaring Nepal as fully-vaccinated by the election.

"All can become safe from the coronavirus infection if they are vaccinated. This will also benefit the political parties.

So, let us go to the people with the message of full vaccination," he said.

"Nepal has made progress in the prevention and control of COVID-19 in spite of limited means and resources," he said. Health Minister Birodh Khatiwada said children between 5-11 years of age would be vaccinated starting next month. He said a letter had already been sent for purchasing the vaccine for the same. Minister Khatiwada added that all people above 12 years of age would be administered the COVID vaccine by mid-May this year.

According to him, the experience gained in the course of the fight against coronavirus so far has indicated that the pandemic will not do much damage now.

He said the fight against coronavirus infection had become easier with whatever experience we gained in that connection so far. Health Secretary Dr Roshan Pokharel said prevention and control of COVID-19 is possible with the unity of all sides.

WHO Nepal's Chief Dr Rajesh Pandav said COVID-19 has taught mankind a lot of life-changing lessons. He stressed the need to maintain preparedness and unveil emergency response plan for prevention and control of pandemics such as COV- ID-19. Dr Pandav said scientists have been successful in developing the vaccine against COVID-19 in the shortest time so far. He observed that COVID-19 had taught mankind to reunite with family, take care of the family and face physical, mental and economic problems at the same time.

Discussions were held in the programme with the National Assembly members on the science behind public health standards in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategy of the Ministry of Health regarding the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, and the post-COVID health issues and their management, among other topics.

Earlier, the ministry and WHO had shared information on COVID-19 and its impact on the members of the provincial assemblies of Karnali and the Sudurpaschim.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 3, 2022, of The Himalayan Times.