As the risk of a new outbreak of Covid-19 cases increases, the Ministry of Health and Population has planned to launch a nationwide campaign to administer boosters.
Officials hope that administering the booster shots will help reduce the severity and deaths from a possible new outbreak of the virus.
“We have ordered all relevant agencies to launch a national campaign to administer recalls,” said Dr. Samir Kumar Adhikari, joint spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. “The booster campaign will start once the typhoid vaccination campaign is over.”
With surge in Covid-19 cases in several states of India including New Delhi in recent times, concern has increased in Nepal due to proximity factor and cross-border movement of people between Nepal and India. ‘India.
Nepal shares a long open border with its southern neighbour. As the early iterations of the pandemic showed, the peak and trough of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal was directly proportional to that in India.
Although the Ministry of Health has decided to administer boosters to all those who received a second dose of the vaccine three months ago, the use of boosters has not increased.
So far, 2,474,829 people, or about 10% of the total population, have received booster shots.
“We have come to the conclusion that the absorption of the vaccine doses, including the first and second, and the booster injections will not increase, so we have decided to launch a vaccination program in the form of a campaign”, said Sagar Dahal, head of the National Immunization Programme. “We have enough vaccine doses in stock and have decided that an additional dose is needed to boost the level of immunity for those who took their second dose three months ago.”
Local units are free to start the booster campaign in their jurisdictions at the earliest, if they have completed the typhoid vaccination campaign, according to Dahal.
The Kathmandu district health office said preparations are underway to launch a booster campaign on April 24-24 in all local units in the district. The Lalitpur district health office said it was preparing to launch a three-day campaign on April 25, 26 and 27.
“We will extend the campaign if we are unable to use the allocated vaccine doses within the two days of April 24 and 25,” said Basanta Adhikari, head of the Health Bureau. “We think a lot of people have already taken rappels in Kathmandu, so there won’t be huge crowds like in the past.”
The Lalitpur health office said it had brought 25,000 moderna vaccines from the Ministry of Health to be given as a booster.
“All people over 18 who took the second dose of the vaccine three months ago are eligible for the boosters,” said Satish Bista, head of the Lalitpur district health office. “We will continue the program if there is a need for the service.”
With the recent decline in the infection rate, uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine has declined and even educated people have shown no interest in the boosters.
On Tuesday, 10 people tested positive for coronavirus.
No deaths have been recorded from a Covid-19 infection since March 22.
Public health experts say the only effective thing authorities could do to reduce losses from Covid-19 infection is to step up vaccination.
“We have enough doses in stock and hundreds of thousands of people still need to take the boosters,” said epidemiologist Dr Biraj Karmacharya. “Relevant authorities should try to administer the vaccine as soon as possible, so that people get immunity before a new wave hits the country.”
With preparations for local elections already in full swing, with political parties dealing with candidate selection and campaigning among other things, this could further push up Covid-19 cases in the country, experts fear.
The Ministry of Health said 83.3% of the population over the age of 18 have been fully immunized with Covid-19 vaccines.
The country has received 53,381,570 doses of Covid vaccines so far – AstraZeneca, Vero Cell, Moderna, Sinovac-CoronaVac, Janssen (single dose) and Pfizer-BioNtech.