Nepal approves AstraZeneca Covid vaccine for emergency use
On Friday, Nepal granted approval for AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine against the novel corona virus in the country. Official reports state that so far the country has recorded 816 cases and 1,948 deaths from COVID-19.
After a meeting between India’s foreign minister S. Jaishankar and his Nepali counterpart Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Friday, Nepal decided to grant approval for AstraZeneca’s COVISHIELD vaccine. This was the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission wherein both the countries discussed “Close cooperation” on the pandemic.
A statement by the country’s Department of Drug Administration said, “Conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorization of COVISHIELD vaccine against COVID-19 in Nepal.”
India is a major manufacturer of the shots as it has already begun to manufacture AstraZeneca’s vaccine as well as COVAXIN.
According to a statement by India’s foreign ministry, Nepal requested India to supply the Himalayan nation with vaccines, without providing further details.
The Ministry of External Affairs said, “During the meet, Nepal congratulated India on the remarkable success in the production of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines in India and requested for early provision of vaccines to Nepal.”
An Indian state-run company will reportedly buy vaccines from the Serum Institute of India Ltd. and Bharat Biotech International Ltd. for supplying to Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Seychelles and Mauritius. Some of supplies may be free and treated as aid, a Bloomberg report said.
Reports suggest that India plans to offer 20 million doses of corona virus vaccine to its neighbours. To supply vials to countries across the globe, India is working on a policy.
India will begin its own vaccination drive on Saturday.