Sunday, 2 April, 2023
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EDITORIAL

Vaccination Milestone



As a milestone achievement, Nepal has fully vaccinated 65 per cent of its total population against COVID-19 so far. The government was successful in accomplishing this feat due to political, financial commitment and support from citizens and international community. The government is intensifying vaccination campaign against COVID-19 in full swing as it aims to fully vaccinate 100 per cent of those above 18 years by mid-April. The nation’s prior successful experience of running large-scale immunisation programmes also boosted the rapid roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. For the campaign to be successful, the credit also goes to the devoted health workers who have battled difficult terrain to ensure people living in even the most remote areas of the country have access to COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), of the total population, 21,984,499 people had received their first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 and that 18,987,229 had received their full dose as of Monday.

People were vaccinated either with AstraZeneca vaccine (manufactured in India, Japan, and Europe), Vero Cell, developed by China’s Sinopharm, and Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the United States of America. As per the data of the Ministry, more than 39 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been safely administered till date, achieving 75.3 per cent first dose coverage and 65 per cent second dose or full vaccination coverage among the total targeted population. Similarly, the first dose and second dose coverage for those aged 18 years and above target group is 93.3 per cent and 82 per cent respectively. To meet the target, the government needs to vaccinate another 18 per cent of the people above 18 years of age within two weeks. Experts have claimed that it is a big milestone to vaccinate 82 per cent of the target population as no country has been able to meet such a remarkable success.

The coverage of first dose and second dose of the COVID vaccines among children and adolescents in the 12-17 years age group stands at 91 per cent and 71 per cent respectively. With this achievement, Nepal has protected vast populace against morbidity and mortality due to COVID-19. As per the data of the ministry, the country has received more than 47 million doses of vaccines including AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Johnson and Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.

The Election Commission of Nepal has also asked all eligible voters to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the election, which is scheduled to be held on May 13 this year. As vaccines are the main preventive safety medium to combat COVID-19, all the political parties should make it the agenda of election to vaccinate the entire citizen as early as possible. Also, each individual has a national duty to take the vaccine. It is also a national duty to ensure access of the vaccines to other citizens who are yet to be vaccinated. The ongoing national vaccination drive is a fight against a hidden enemy with united support from all sides concerned. No one should stay aside, till the last citizen is vaccinated against COVID-19.