Kathmandu, December 22
Whereas there are widespread demands that the government begin distributing booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccines, at least among frontline workers, amid threats of new Omicron variant spread, it has been found that the government has over 12.2 million doses of the vaccines in its stock.
The government, however, still lacks a plan to immediately begin the booster dose drive as it says many people are still deprived of basic doses. The Ministry of Health and Population says it will begin the booster dose vaccination campaign only after at least 50 per cent of people of the target groups receive basic full doses of the vaccines.
As of Tuesday, 48.9 per cent of the target populations have received full doses of the vaccines whereas the ratio of those receiving only one dose is 61.5 per cent.
The government has been vaccinating around 200,000 people on a daily basis, but that pace has apparently been insufficient to increase the coverage so that the booster dose campaign can begin.
Meanwhile, officials say they are asking suppliers to delay the vaccine delivery as the government is yet to launch the booster dose campaign.
Sagar Dahal, the chief of the Vaccination Section under the Department of Health Services, says the government is expecting 20 million more doses of the vaccines within the next three months.