Thursday, May 27 2021, Kathmandu
The government of China has announced that it will give 1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal as a grant. The agreement was made over a telephone conversation between the Right Honourable President of Nepal Mrs Vidhya Devi Bhandari and the Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping. The Chinese ambassador to Nepal Honorable Hou Yanqi has informed over her Twitter handle about the vaccine grant.
The government of China had provided 800,000 doses of Vero cell vaccine manufactured by Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd., China on March 29, 2021, as well.
Nepal started its vaccination drive with the Covidshield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institue of India in late January. Though the first dose of India made Covidshield vaccination was given in January, the government of Nepal has not been able to procure enough quantities for the second dose. With India being the hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic currently, and with over a billion population, India has been prioritizing the demand at home. The countries like Nepal who do not have vaccine manufacturing capability on their own soil have are facing tough challenges in these uncertain times. Those who are administered the first dose of Covidshield vaccines are still waiting for their second dose even after 4 months. This has raised concerns about vaccine effectiveness when not administered in time. There has been ongoing research on vaccine efficiency to the interval between two doses.
The government of Nepal is being criticized for not being able to bring enough COVID-19 vaccines. The Chinese support in such a difficult time will be appreciated by the Nepalese community.
Image Credits: Twitter Handle @PRCAmbNepal