Health Ministry prepares rapid plan of action for COVID-19 vaccine



16 December 2020, Kathmandu

The government has centered its focus to vaccinate the citizens against COVID-19.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Population Dr. Jageshwor Gautam said that the government was carrying out efforts to vaccinate the citizens.

Spokesperson Dr. Gautam said that the Rapid Plan of Action for Vaccination was prepared and eight different workstations were designated to provide vaccines to 72 percent of the country’s population.

According to him, the tasks of formation of vaccine secretariat, completion of vaccine’s technical working paper, infrastructure assessment (equipment, storage, and supplies), needs assessment (public and private), prioritization of receivers with explanation and human resources, training and guidelines have been advanced.

Similarly, the formation of a task force to advance the call for vaccine fund proposal, operation, and public information dissemination guidelines for dialogue with stakeholders, monitoring, regulation, research, and clinical management identification are also in progress.

Dr. Gautam said that the government has also formed an experts’ advisory committee to provide technical suggestions on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccines imported through COMAX would be available for only 20 percent of the country’s population. The government has its preparation to import the remaining 52 percent vaccines through government to government (G2G) and public procurement process.

In the first phase, vaccines would be made available for three percent of the vaccine that would be available for 20 percent population.

In order to arrange the rapid import of medicines and vaccines in an emergency situation, the government has amended the Drugs Act-2035 BS.

He shared that correspondence in writing has been made to international agencies to acquire vaccines at the facility of Co-Max. The agencies have been asked to ensure technical facilitation of COVID-19 vaccine and availability of Co-Max Cold chain.

Necessary works such as human resource capacity assessment for vaccine storage and preservation have been so far done, he added.

“A technical action plan on COVID-19 has been prepared and necessary works have been carried out after consultation in the national vaccine advisory committee”, he further shared.

A proposal has been sent to the ministry of finance seeking resource allocation required for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, he further informed.

Ministry spokesperson Dr. Gautam also shared that works are being undertaken in coordination with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and World Bank in regard to COVID-19 vaccines, he shared.

Nepal has so far recorded 250,180 coronavirus infected among which 238,569 got recovered and 1,730 have lost their lives to the deadly virus.

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