The government has decided to inoculate senior citizens above the age of 65 that have received the first dose of COVISHIELD with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from August 9.

There are around 1.3 million Nepalis belonging to the aforementioned age group that had for long been waiting in uncertainty for their booster dose following the COVISHIELD export ban by the Indian government.

The vaccination drive of senior citizens had gone awry after the COVISHIELD manufacturers, Serum Institute of India, expressed their inability to deliver the remaining one million doses of the vaccine of the total of 2 million doses purchased by Nepal.

However, much to the relief of those stranded owing to the shortage, the arrival of around 300,000 doses of surplus AstraZeneca vaccine from Bhutan on Friday and another 1.6 million AZ vaccines donated by Japan set to arrive on Saturday and Sunday has allowed the government to finally schedule the vaccination drive.

It has been learnt that two batches of 400,000 doses each from Japan through the COVAX facility will be arriving in Nepal on Saturday and Sunday while the remaining doses will be arriving after 10 days.