KATHMANDU: A private company has been allowed to import Covaxin against the coronavirus, which was allowed for emergency use in Nepal last Friday.
The Emerald Pharma Kathmandu, the official agent of Bharat Biotech in Nepal, has already received permission from the Department of Drug Administration (DDA) to import the vaccine.
Emerald Pharma’s Nepal agent Surendran Nair said that the process for purchasing the vaccine has started. According to him, it may take two weeks to bring the vaccine to Nepal. “We have already started talking to the company. We will apply to the Ministry of Health after the company provides the number of doses, price and date of supply of vaccine,” Nair said.
Nair informed that the government was yet to decide whether to buy these vaccines or allow the private sector to use them. Emerald Pharma is owned by Bishal Pandit. Last week, the Department of Drug Administration had requested the importers interested in bringing the vaccine to apply. Importers wishing to bring the vaccine will have to submit an application disclosing the approval of emergency use of vaccine, it’s price, number of doses available and date of import.
So far, the covishield vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca and produced by the Serum Institute of India has been used in Nepal. Until now, 23.48 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to Nepal with the grant from India, procured by Nepal and received according to the Covax facility of the World Health Organization.
One million doses of vaccine purchased by Nepal are yet to arrive in Nepal. So far, 1,673,227 Nepalis have received the first dose of the vaccine.
The Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine has also received emergency permission in Nepal, but no Chinese vaccine has arrived in Nepal.