Nepal begins nationwide inoculation drive against COVID-19
Nepal on Wednesday began its nationwide inoculation drive after receiving one million Covishield vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from the Indian government last week.
Front line workers such as doctors, nurses, hospital cleaners, members of the security forces and those managing the bodies of people who succumbed to COVID-19 are first in line to get the jab.
Dr Sagar Kumar Rajbhandari, the Director of Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Disease Hospital received the first jab of Covishield, marking the start of the “Anti-COVID” drive in the Himalayan Nation.
“This vaccine has created history because it has been developed in a short span of about one year. Many more nations have conducted their test drive and to date, this vaccine hasn’t shown any kind of side-effects or major damages, hence it is seen as to be safe. That’s why I also took the jab without any worries,” Rajbhandari told the media after receiving the jab.
“The Covishield vaccine, which we have now is developed by SII and it is absolutely safe. I would request all to take the jabs without any worries or any kinds of tensions,” he added.
In the first phase of its inoculation drive, the Government of Nepal has planned to vaccinate a total of 450,000 frontline workers of various fields with two doses of Covishield vaccine to each.
Wednesday’s drive started across 62 hospitals and 120 vaccine centres across the country which is expected to continue for 10 days. Frontline workers who took the jab have encouraged others falling under the criteria set by the government to come forward and take part in the drive.
“There was a rumour that a recipient might die or face dire consequences immediately after administering the vaccine. It has been clearly seen that we haven’t encountered any kind of problems and are completely safe even after half-an-hour of receiving the jab. There is no kind of pain in our body too,” Dr Anup Bastola, one of the doctors who worked on the front line during the pandemic said after receiving the vaccine.
Nepal received a batch of one million doses of Covishield vaccines from India on grant assistance last week which also would be administered to the elderly as well as those suffering from chronic diseases.
“This vaccine is safe for everyone. I also got the first jab and I am doing well, so I would like to request all the women out there to come forward and take the vaccine without any worries,” Dr Runa Jha, director of the National Public Health Laboratory briefed the media.
Nepal with a population of nearly 30 million has turned out to India for help to procure vaccines as it plans to inoculate nearly 75 per cent of its population. The Government of Nepal on January 15 approved the use of Covishield developed by SII for emergency use.