Refutes reports on govt involvement with commission agents


At a time when Covid-19 cases are soaring while the nationwide vaccination drive has been suspended following imposition of prohibitory orders, Ministry of Health and Population has clarified that it would not be able to procure the targeted five million doses Covishield vaccines from India.

Government of Nepal had earlier proceeded to procure two million doses of Covishield from the Serum Institute of India (SII) at a rate of USD 4; of which one million has already been brought in.

According to the ministry, the remaining doses from the aforementioned lot will be procured as soon as the SII recovers from a few setbacks and begins operating in its full capacity, which is said to have been affected by the global crisis and especially by the fire that occurred at the institute on January 21.

However, SII's CEO Adar Poonawalla in a Jan 22 press conference had clarified that the supply of COVID-19 vaccine would not be affected due to the fire. "No actual vaccine was being made at that facility. We were lucky that the incident happened in a different building", Poonawalla has stated.

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Furthermore, in response to the recent media reports on the government's apparent involvement with commission agents corresponding to the process of vaccine procurement from SII, the MoHP has wiped its hands clean and refuted the news.

Read Also: Govt's indecision threatens vaccination drive

It has said that Covidshield procurement is solely managed by Department of Health Services; and all other information involving Government of Nepal or Ministry of Health and Population are not true.

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