Bhutan, after successful domestic inoculation, sends 230,00 doses of Covid vaccines to neighbor Nepal

After almost missing the revised deadline of 16 weeks for the second dose of Covid-19 vaccination, Bhutan has now vaccinated more than 95 percent of its eligible adult population by administering double doses to each of its citizens of about 800,000 people

Aug 07, 2021
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Covid vaccines

After almost missing the revised deadline of 16 weeks for the second dose of Covid-19 vaccination, Bhutan has now vaccinated more than 95 percent of its eligible adult population by administering double doses to each of its citizens of about 800,000 people.

Now, after meeting the domestic requirements, the tiny Buddhist kingdom has extended its hand of friendship to the neighborhood, sending 230,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nepal.

The Bhutanese government sent the vaccines following a request from its Nepalese counterpart which sought vaccine support from Bhutan.

With support from donor countries, including Denmark, Bulgaria, and Croatia, Thimphu managed to secure some 400,000 plus doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second mass vaccination campaign last month.

However, with the approval of the mix-and-match mode of the vaccination and because of the evidence of higher efficacy with this regime, the majority of the adult population opted for the Moderna vaccine for the second dose, according to Kuensel, the national newspaper.

Bhutan had received 500,000 doses of Moderna vaccine from the United States.

Meanwhile, Nepal on Saturday also received 513,420 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine provided by the Japanese government through the COVAX facility, an international vaccine-sharing scheme backed by the United Nations.

This is the first consignment of the 1.6 million doses of the vaccine Japan has committed to Nepal.

Dr. Samir Kumar Adhikari, the joint spokesperson for the Health Ministry, confirmed to Kathmandu Post that 513,420 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Nepal on Saturday morning. Some more doses, to make half of the total commitment, are expected to arrive on Sunday.

The remaining doses of the vaccine will arrive after a week, according to the Health Ministry.

(SAM)