Kathmandu: The vaccine against coronavirus provided by the Government of China on grant has been brought to the country. The shipment of SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine (Vero Cell) was brought here by the Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) wide body 330 aircraft at 9:15 today.
The vaccine is manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Product under the Sinopharm and Nepal receives 800 thousand doses of it on grants. China’s Ambassador for Nepal, Hou Yanqi, handed the assistance to Minister for Health and Population Hriyadesh Tripathi at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The vaccine will be reserved at the cold store of Teku-based Department of Health Services. The NAC aircraft had flown to China on Friday to pick up the vaccine.
Prior to this, the government of India had donated 1000,000 doses of ‘Covishield’ vaccine to Nepal.
The Vero Cell is yet to be endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government of China has already applied for the same.
As said by Department’s Child Health and Vaccination Section chief Dr Jhalak Sharma, though the WHO approval for the Vero Cell is awaited, it can be administered to the public. “We face no legal hurdles to use vaccine as the country where it was manufactured have already given permission for the same.’’ The manufacturing country and other countries have already brought the vaccine in use and we will soon bring this vaccine in use. The vaccination campaign will be launched again by identifying the target groups on the basis of priority.
Similarly, the 1,000,000 doses of Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and purchased by Nepal is yet to arrive home. The second phase vaccination campaign had to be suspended as the vaccine did not come on time.