Health Ministry reports show that 44 percent of Nepali officials receive a single dose and 37.5 percent are fully vaccinated.
Nepal is getting enough vaccines to vaccinate all adults on COVID-19 by mid-April and is looking to target doses in the remote Himalayan highlands, the health minister said.
The government is hiring workers and setting up vaccination centers to meet their demands, Health Minister Birod Khatiwada told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.
“We can achieve what we want or go beyond what we want because we have already received enough vaccination,” said Khatiwada, who was elected last month.
“We are hiring more health workers to reach all parts of the country and set up vaccinations to reach all people.”
The Nepali vaccine began in January with a vaccine provided by neighboring India but stopped when India was hit by a serious COVID-19 crisis and stopped exporting the vaccine.
Health Ministry reports show that 44 percent of Nepali officials receive a single dose, and 37.5 percent are fully vaccinated.
Officials make up about 72 percent of Nepali’s 30 million people.
So far, only people over the age of 18 have been vaccinated, but the country is planning to vaccinate 12- to 17-year-olds when the standard is available.
With the disruption of the vaccine from India, China intervened, selling millions of doses. Nepal also received a vaccine provided by the United States through the United Nations distribution agency COVAX.
However, the shortage has continued throughout Nepal throughout the year, and when the vaccination center opens, it will be filled with thousands of people who want to be vaccinated.
Khatiwada said about Rs 22 million has been given and he expects another Rs 30 million to be reached in the next few months.
“Cabinet this week approved the idea of buying a 6 million dose of Pfizer vaccine from the United States as we get another 4 million Moderna vaccine,” Khatiwada said, adding another 6 million dose previously purchased in China.
China has also donated another 2 million vaccines as a gift, while Switzerland is donating half a million.
“We will no longer have a vaccine, but what we want to focus on now is taking the vaccine to all corners of the country, including remote mountain areas,” he said.
Nepal experienced the worst case of the COVID-19 epidemic in April when hospitals were overcrowded with patients being treated in garages and parking lots, with people waiting in long lines for oxygen cylinders.
The government has closed several doors and has been repeatedly criticized for addressing the problem.
Nepal is reports more than 815,000 coronavirus and 11,460 deaths.