Nepal launches inoculation drive against coronavirus

Jan 28 , 2021. 16 hours ago – 17:37 KYODO NEWS

Health workers register before receiving vaccine shots on the first day of coronavirus vaccination in Kathmandu, Nepal on Jan. 27, 2021. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

KATHMANDU – Nepal launched on Wednesday a vaccination drive against the new coronavirus that has killed slightly over 2,000 people so far in the Himalayan nation.

In the first phase, nearly 430,000 people, such as health care workers, sanitation workers, security personnel, ambulance operators and prisoners, will be inoculated using 1 million doses recently donated by neighboring India.

The vaccine used in the campaign is Covishield — developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, and manufactured by Serum Institute of India.

Earlier this month, Nepal approved the vaccine for emergency use. The nation aims to inoculate 70 percent of its roughly 29 million people.

Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli thanked India on Wednesday for enabling Nepal to start vaccinating its people early.

Oli said the government is working to procure more vaccines to proceed to the second, third and fourth phases of vaccination.

“I believe we will be able to vaccinate everybody in three months,” Oli said.

Nepal has 270,092 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.