Nepal‘s drug regulator on Friday granted emergency use approval for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and made in India, paving the way for even private companies to import and sell the vaccine in the market. Public health experts, however, say the government, which has already pledged to immunize the entire population for free, should keep its promise.
Private companies should also be allowed to import vaccines against the coronavirus, only if the government does not import sufficient doses. “The government has declared itself determined to vaccinate eligible citizens free of charge,” said Dr Bhagwan Koirala , chairman of the Medical Council of Nepal, the national regulatory body for physicians. “The government should keep its promise and immunize 20% of the population most at risk – frontline workers, the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases. -jacent, at the earliest. ”
The Department of the Drug Administration decided to grant emergency use authorization for the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, based in Pune, on Friday, two days after publishing a notice calling on the manufacturers of vaccines listed by the World Health Organization or their agents to apply for an emergency use authorization at most early. “If the government cannot get the vaccine and people want to take the vaccine for themselves, then we should only discuss whether or not to allow private imports of vaccines,“ If we allow for private companies to import vaccines at the earliest, the risk of infection will increase for frontline workers, the elderly and the poor will not receive the vaccines.
” At least three vaccine manufacturers, including two Indian and one Chinese – answered the call and requested approval for emergency use in Nepal, according to Bhattarai. While the request from the Serum Institute was approved Friday, appl Applications from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech and Beijing-based Sinopharm are under review.
“With approval for emergency use, suppliers and manufacturers can now administer Covishield vaccine in Nepal without restriction,” said Santosh KC, a department spokesman for Post. “Also, the government can import the vaccine by signing contracts with manufacturing companies or countries. “ Dr Prabhat Adhikari, an expert on infectious diseases and critical care, Koirala repeated.“ It will be better if the government will provide vaccines to all citizens and administer them according to the priority list, “he told Post.
He said private players should only be allowed to import the vaccine if the government fails to do so. “If the government cannot provide enough doses, private importers should be able to sell the vaccine as it will ultimately help fight the infection. ” Friday‘s announcement was made while Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali co-chaired the meeting of the 6th Nepal-India Joint Commission. The government was counting on a breakthrough in talks with India to purchase Covid-19 vaccines made in India, but a concrete agreement could not be reached at the meeting. Nepal is seeking to obtain vaccines to vaccinate 12 million people in the first phase, and according to Minister of Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi.
Earlier, Nepal‘s ambassador to New Delhi, Nilamber Acharya had two rounds of talks with senior officials from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India and met senior officials from Bharat Biotech to expedite vaccine sourcing, officials said. The cabinet meeting on Nov. 9 had decided to source coronavirus vaccines that had received emergency clearance and give them to people free of charge in a priority order. It was estimated that it would take 48 billion rupees to vaccinate 52 percent of the population. As children under 15 years of age, who make up 28 percent of the population, cannot be vaccinated as no vaccines have been tested for them. Only 72 percent of Nepalis need to be vaccinated.
The World Health Organization‘s COVAX program will provide 20 percent of the population free of charge. The Department of Health and Population has made a priority list for coronavirus vaccines. All Health Workers Working in government or private health facilities where there is a high risk of infection is a top priority. Supporting staff – drivers, health facility cleaners, frontline security and health volunteers The priority list. People over 55 years of age have second priority and those in the 40–54 age group have third, according to the Child Health Division of the Department of Family Welfare of the Department of Health Services.