The government has started to administer Johnson & Johnson vaccines against COVID-19 for Nepalis travelling to foreign countries for jobs, education or other purposes.

The government's decision aims to support those who leave the country with the vaccine.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is administered in a single dose unlike other COVID-19 vaccines that require two doses.

With this decision, Nepalis who haven't been inoculated with the vaccine can leave the country within a few days after being fully vaccinated. Earlier, many Nepalis had been forced to overstay in the country while waiting to be inoculated with the two doses of other vaccines.

The vaccines can now be received from Chhauni-based Military Hospital, Nepal Police Hospital, Maharajgunj, Armed Police Hospital, Balambu, and Teku Hospital.

Officials at the Ministry of Health and Population said the government had allocated 500,000 vaccines for the purpose.

Earlier, foreign employment entrepreneurs and stakeholders had asked Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Security Krishna Kumar Shrestha to administer Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Nepali migrant workers.

Minister Shrestha had also formally asked the concerned MoHP to facilitate migrant workers with the single dose vaccine in a bid to ease their transportation.

Dr Dipendra Raman Singh at the MoHP said a decision was taken to support those travellers who urgently require to travel and have not been inoculated yet. However, he said, "Since the government has already decided to inoculate all the population above 18 years, they should visit their local levels to get the vaccine."

"It is advisable for the adult population, including those leaving or planning to leave the country, to take the double dose vaccine as soon as possible through their local governments or from convenient places.

But, anyone who is in an emergency and has a ticket to leave the country within a few days will be given priority for the vaccination."

A version of this article appears in the print on December 26, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.