Senior citizens likely to get Covid-19 vaccines from March 7

A health worker prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, in Kathmandu, January 2021.

Kathmandu, February 12

The government is preparing to vaccinate common people against Covid-19 from March 7. Senior citizens will get their turn first in the process.

It has been over two weeks since the country began its vaccination drive. However, so far, only frontline health workers and sanitation workers, journalists in Kathmandu, and staff of diplomatic agencies have been given the jabs. Now, the government is preparing to distribute the vaccines among government staff and elected local government officials next week.

After that, senior citizens above 55 years of age will be given the vaccines, according to concerned officials.

“We are preparing for the vaccination as it has now been assured that we will get the vaccines. The preparations have reached the final stage,” says the Health Ministry’s Assistant Spokesperson Dr Sameer Kumar Adhikari.

Dr Jhalak Gautam, the chief of the Vaccination Division under the Department of Health Services, says senior citizens were not given the vaccines so far because sufficient doses were not available.

“If there had been sufficient doses, we would have given them to senior citizens and people living with chronic diseases first,” Gautam says.

Meanwhile, the department’s Management Division Chief Dr Bhim Singh Tinkari says preparations to procure vaccines have reached the final stage. “If the preparations go on as specified in the plan, we will get a new lot of vaccines before the current stock runs out.”

A ministry source says the government will purchase two million doses of the vaccines from India’s Serum Institute within a week whereas the vaccines to be donated by the World Health Organisation’s COVAX will also arrive within February.

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Budhathoki is an Onlinekhabar correspondent, covering health and social affairs.

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