Kathmandu: 1.66 million of the four million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines financed by the World Bank has arrived in Nepal.
The remaining doses will be delivered shortly.
Nepal will deploy these vaccines for adolescents 12-17 years to safeguard them from the health impacts of COVID-19.
The vaccines, procured under the COVAX cost-share option, comply with World Bank’s Vaccine Approval Criteria for financing and are certified as safe and effective for children as young as 12 years of age by the European Medicines Agency and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency.
"Nepal was the second country globally to finalize procurement of vaccines through the COVAX cost-share scheme. The supply of Moderna vaccines is timely for Nepal, as we expand our vaccine coverage to adolescents 12-17 years of age," said Birodh Khatiwada, Minister of Health and Population, in a press release on Tuesday.
"The Government is committed to vaccinating the entire eligible population by mid-April 2022 and the World Bank-financed Moderna vaccines will be instrumental in helping Nepal achieve its COVID-19 vaccination goal," Khatiwada stated.
In line with the recommendations of the National Immunization Advisory Committee and the National Immunization Committee, the Moderna vaccines will be administered to adolescent populations through immunization sites set up in schools, as well as sites to reach out-of-school adolescent populations.
"I am very pleased that the World Bank has been able to help make safe and effective vaccines available for Nepal’s adolescent and youth populations. This is critical since Nepal’s children have already missed almost two years of in-person schooling because of the pandemic," said Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
"I am hopeful that these vaccines will help increase health and protection of children in the classrooms and support continued learning to make up the learning lost due to COVID-19," he added.