Govt preparing for anti COVID-19 vaccine for 72 per cent

KATHMANDU: The government has made a plan to inoculate 72 per cent of the country's total population against COVID-19.

Vaccine has not been tested on children so far and the plan is to vaccinate all except the children, Dr Sameer Kumar Adhikari, Associate Spokesman at the Ministry of Health and Population, said.

"Twenty-eight per cent of the country's population is below 15 years and they would not be vaccinated." Dr Adhikari said this section of the population would also be vaccinated once the tests on people above 15 years of age were successful.

The government is all set to vaccinate 20 per cent of the population in the first phase. The Ministry has initiated to bring the anti-COVID-19 vaccines under the 'COVAX Facility' mechanism comprising of three organisations, namely, the Word Health Organization (WHO), Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and CEPI.

The vaccines would be brought free of cost as the mechanism is providing cost-free vaccines to the poor and low-income countries, Dr Adhikari shared.

Coordinator of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee, Dr Shyam Raj Uprety said diplomatic letters have already been sent to COVAX facility to bring vaccines, on December 4.

Out of the 20 per cent vaccines coming in the first lot, three per cent would be given to health workers, security personnel and the elderly people.

The government will bring the rest 52 per cent vaccines through government-to-government (G2G) from diplomatic missions as per the public procurement regulations and through contract.

Dr Uprety said the government has allocated Rs 48 billion for procurement of the vaccines.