US doses arrive as Nepal struggles to vaccinate population – Times of India

KATHMANDU: A cargo of 1.5 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine donated by the United States arrived on Monday in Nepal, which is struggling to inoculate its population in opposition to the Coronavirus.
“Today’s delivery of the single-dose vaccine means that this single donation is enough to protect over 1.5 million people in Nepal,” US ambassador, Randy Berry, stated at Kathmandu airport.
The US can also be donating vaccines to a number of different Asian nations, together with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Health minister, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, stated the cargo, obtained by way of the UN-backed Covax vaccine facility, can be given to individuals between the ages of 50 and 54.
Though located between India and China, that are among the many largest producers of vaccines, Nepal has been struggling to acquire doses.
It started its vaccination marketing campaign in January, however lower than 3% of its population has been absolutely inoculated. The marketing campaign stalled after India was hit by a devastating Coronavirus outbreak and lower off exports of Indian-made vaccines, together with 1 million doses which Nepal had already paid for.
Since then, China has donated 1.8 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine and is promoting Nepal about 4 million extra doses this month.
Nepal confronted its personal Coronavirus outbreak in April which prompted authorities to impose a two-month lockdown. That introduced down the quantity of instances, however an easing of restrictions now’s elevating concern a couple of new outbreak with so few individuals vaccinated. Thousands of individuals additionally cross the border with India day by day with out well being checks to search work there or return house.
There are official checkpoints on the primary routes throughout the 1,800-kilometer (1,125-mile) border, however it’s simple to stroll throughout a lot of the unguarded portion.
“We are very likely to be hit by a third wave of Covid-19 because we have a very porous border and only a small number of people have received the vaccine,” stated Dr. Rajan Pandey of Bheri Hospital within the border metropolis of Nepalgunj, 360 kilometers (225 miles) southwest of the capital, Kathmandu.
In May, the town was the primary in Nepal to be hit by the brand new outbreak and the hospital was overwhelmed with Covid-19 instances. Patients lined up outdoors its doorways and lots of had been turned away or handled in ambulances or in corridors. Even docs and nurses fell sick.

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