In what came as another setback for Nepal’s vaccination program, the European Union (EU) will not donate vaccines directly to countries. Instead it would route them through the WHO’s COVAX, further delaying the supply
In what came as another setback for Nepal’s vaccination program, the European Union (EU) will not donate vaccines directly to countries. Instead it would route them through the WHO’s COVAX, further delaying the supply.
Nepal had earlier requested the EU and Germany to direct donate Astra-Zeneca vaccines to Nepal. However, the report says that the EU will stick to their original plan of distribution through the WHO.
“The general policy of the EU is to provide Covid-19 vaccines only through the COVAX mechanism,” Nona Deprez, EU Ambassador to Nepal, was quoted as saying by The Kathmandu Post.
Over 1.4 million people in Nepal are in need of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine for their second dose. Ever since the Serum Institute of India halted the supply of vaccines to other countries, Nepal has been struggling to procure Astra-Zeneca vaccines. Significantly, all these people are above 65 years of age and also vulnerable to the coronavirus.
The EU will donate more than 100 millionvaccines to lower and middle-income countries. Kathmandu had also sought surplus Astra-Zeneca vaccines from the United States.
Earlier, the WHO has committed to providing 13 million doses of Covishield to Nepal. Of which, it had received just 340,000 doses of Covishield. Presently, Nepal is inoculating its population using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
So far Nepal has received 1.8 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China in grant assistance. Now, the government has cleared a proposal to buy 4 million Sinopharm vaccines.