The targeted groups will get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as per the government's goal. The government has set the target of immunising one-third of the targeted groups by October 17.

Accordingly, 30 per cent of the targeted population has been given the first dose, while 28 per cent has received the full dose.

Sagar Dahal, chief of the Department of Health Service, Family Welfare Division, Child Health and Immunisation Section, said that the target group would be fully immunised by October 17. "We had said we would vaccinate 33 per cent of the targeted groups by October 17. We have been conducting the vaccination programme on a daily basis accordingly. We will vaccinate 33 per cent of the targeted groups by October 17," he said.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had declared that anti-COVID vaccination would be the government's first priority and 33 per cent of the targeted groups would be given the shots by October 17.

In line with this declaration, the government has adopted the policy of bringing vaccines from countries supplying the vaccines as grant and even by purchasing from China and India.

The government has of target to immunising 71.6 per cent or a total 21,756,763 people above 18 years of age.

It has stated that 33 per cent of the targeted population will be immunised by October 17, two-thirds of the targeted population by 14 January 2022 and all the targeted population by 13 April 2022.

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The Ministry of Health and Population has stated that the pandemic can be contained if at least 60 per cent of the country's population is vaccinated. Kathmandu Valley has the highest number of people vaccinated against COVID-19 virus.

According to ministry Joint-spokesperson Dr Samir Kumar Adhikari, almost all target groups ( health professionals and cleaning workers, those working at the frontline against COVID-19, citizens above 65 etc) across the country have been vaccinated.

Now, the vaccination campaign aims to inoculate all eligible citizens. Presently almost all above 50 years of age have received the vaccine.

The ministry has launched a drive to provide first dose of COVID-19 vaccine (Vero Cell) to all people above 18 years of age in Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha, Solukhumbu, Rasuwa, Jumla, Mugu, Humla, Dolpa, Bajura and Darchula districts from September 20-30.

Vaccines will be made available to students above 18 years of age in Kavrepalanchok and Chitwan districts, all people above 35, people above 40 from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Makawanpur, Ramechhap, Sarlahi and Achham, and students above 18, those who are yet to be vaccinated against the virus and missed the vaccination drive.

The government is at work to import 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines (40,000 doses Moderna and 60,000 doses Pfizer) to vaccinate all children, 12-18 age group, it is said. Payments for the consignment have already been made. The shipment will be made soon, said the vaccination section chief Dahal.

So far, 17.7 million doses of vaccines have been imported to the country.

The government plans to import 11.3 million vaccines for free under the COVAX facility, which is 20 per cent of the total target population.

It plans to import more than 10 million vaccines by October 17 and 32.3 million doses by mid-April.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 28 2021, of The Himalayan Times.