Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi (L), and Birodh Khatiwada, Minister for Health and Population in Nepal, are seen at a vaccine handover ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal on Nov. 3, 2021. Nepal on Wednesday received a fresh shipment of 1.6 million Vero Cell vaccine doses granted by the Chinese government to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official from the Nepali Ministry of Health and Population said. (Photo by Hari Maharjan/Xinhua)
KATHMANDU, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Nepal on Wednesday received a fresh shipment of 1.6 million Vero Cell vaccine jabs granted by the Chinese government to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior official from the Nepali Ministry of Health and Population said.
"China-donated 1.6 million doses of Vero Cell vaccine arrived in the country on Wednesday afternoon," Upendra Dhungana, chief of the Logistic Management Section under the Department of Health Services, told Xinhua.
China has become the largest source of vaccines for Nepal by providing to its southern neighbor nearly 15 million doses of the Vero Cell vaccine developed by the Chinese Sinopharm company through the grant, commercial purchase and the COVAX mechanism, and the efficacy and efficiency of the vaccine has been widely accepted by the Nepalese, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi said at the handover ceremony held at the Health Ministry.
Hou voiced China's readiness to work with Nepal to implement initiatives relating to cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines and green development under the Belt and Road Initiative by forging a closer partnership.
"As we are seeking to vaccinate all the population against COVID-19 by mid-April next year, cooperation and facilitation from China in delivering the vaccine are very helpful in achieving the target," said Birodh Khatiwada, Minister for Health and Population in Nepal.
Nepali health officials said the new Chinese vaccine shots would soon be dispatched to various districts for vaccinating more of the population.
"The District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centers have been authorized to determine who should be vaccinated with the newly-arrived vaccine shots," Sagar Dahal, chief of the National Immunization Programme under the Ministry of Health and Population, told Xinhua.
Nepal, battered now by two waves of the coronavirus, started its vaccination campaign in late January, and 8.71 million of the 30 million population have received the first dose by Wednesday, while 7.38 million have been fully vaccinated.
Of them, 5.82 million have been administered first shot with the Chinese vaccine, and 4.16 million with two doses of the Chinese jab, according to the health ministry. Enditem