One million doses of India’s Covishield vaccine arrive in Nepal

After months of delay, one million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived in Nepal on Saturday

Oct 09, 2021
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One million doses of India’s Covishield vaccine arrive in Nepal

After months of delay, one million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived in Nepal on Saturday.

Sagar Dahal, chief of Nepal’s National Immunisation Programme, said that the consignment is part of the 2 million doses of the vaccine for which the government had paid Sii in February.

Kathmandu had signed a deal to buy 2 million doses of Covishield, the AstraZeneca type vaccine, at USD 4 per dose.

SII had supplied 1 million doses of the vaccine on February 21 and promised to deliver the remaining 1 million doses within 10 days.

But after the second wave of infections hit India, authorities there restricted exports of the vaccines, affecting the deliveries to Nepal.

Nepal has so far used AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, Japan and Europe; Vero Cell vaccine developed by Sinopharm of China; and single-shot Janssen vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson in the United States of America.

Official sources in India said earlier this week that New Delhi has permitted SII to export one million Covishield doses each to Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh, while another vaccine maker Bharat Biotech will provide Iran with one million doses of Covaxin under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ (vaccine friendship) program in October.

Indian Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on September 20 announced that India will resume export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ program and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.

(SAM)