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Covid vaccination drive slows down as target date nears



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Kathmandu, Mar. 31: As coronavirus infections have been declining in the country, so has the number of people getting their jabs against COVID-19, which has put a pause on the target that the government aimed to achieve by Mid-April.

The Government had set an aim to fully vaccinate 100 per cent of those above 18 years target group by mid-April 2022.

As per the data of the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), in the 14 months since the vaccination campaign, 82.2 per cent of the target population has been fully inoculated. While looking at the data of the last week, 29,000 people a day have received boosters.

As per the target, 18 per cent of the target population, that is 19,922,164 people, needs to be inoculated in the remaining 15 days.

Dr Surendra Chaurasia, Head of the Supply Management Division of the Department of Health Services said that there is enough vaccine to inoculate another 18 per cent of the population.

"If people come for inoculation, then we can supply enough vaccines to inoculate the target population within the time frame." He added.

Soon after the second and third wave, many people were rushing for their additional dose, however, as COVID-19 cases have reached minimal people receiving vaccines have reduced as well. A total of 2,210,990 have received their booster dose so far.

“We paused the COVID-19 vaccination program a month ago, said Balaram Tripathi, Chief of the Health Division at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, “Coverage of COVID-19 vaccine is very high in the metropolitan city and people also stopped seeking vaccination.” 

The government has urged everyone above 18 years to take a booster dose against COVID-19. A total of 29,934 people received their additional dose on March, 2,145,1555 on March, 2,241,314 on March, 2,340,169 on March, 2,422,198 on March 2,526,971 on March, 2,613,820 on March 2,719,261 on March 28.

Even though MoHP has requested to get their booster dose, but, with minimal COVID-19 cases, many people are opting out of inoculation.

Similarly, the government has set a target of vaccinating 345,455 people between the ages of 12 to 17. Of these, 91 per cent have been vaccinated with at least one dose and 71 per cent have been fully vaccinated, as per MoHP.

So far, 47,882,800 vaccines against COVID-19 have been received by Nepal. Among them, Covishield, Vero Cell, Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson &Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Sinovax is being administered in the country.

Nepal has received 8,420,600 doses as part of COVAX-AMC, 8,569,120 as COVAX dose-sharing. Nepal has also procured 5,935,400 doses through COVAX cost-sharing mechanism. Nepal has received a total of four million vaccines from China in the form of a grant on March, 28.