Two million Nepalese children aged 5–11 years will be vaccinated in the first phase following the roll-out of Pfizer’s vaccines. On June 23, the Ministry of Health and Population will begin dispensing Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to children between five and 11 years old, although exact supply dates are not yet known.
Two million vaccine doses are expected to arrive at the Department of Health Services around one week before the scheduled rollout date, but supply could be delayed until June 23.
It has been decided by the Ministry of Health to run the vaccination campaign in two phases – the first phase in 27 districts, followed by another in 50 districts.
During the initial phase of the vaccination rollout, children of the said age group will be vaccinated in regions such as Jhapa, Kathmandu, Chitwan, and more. A change in vaccination schedules could be required if the doses do not arrive by June 19.
The chief of the National Immunization Program, Sagar Dahal, said that his office is not anticipating a delay in supplying the vaccine and will begin the drive on June 23, continuing through June 29.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be distributed free of charge to 8.4 million Nepalese children. COVAX, the United Nations-backed international vaccine-sharing program will supply the vaccine doses, which will be financed by the United States government through USAID.
Pfizer doses for emergency use have already been authorized by the Department of Drug Administration, and health workers have been trained in 21 districts.
It was noted that there would not be any storage problems for the Pfizer doses, since they would be dispatched directly to the provinces once they arrived.
In the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine line, there are two types: one is for 5-11 year-olds, and the other is for those aged 12 and older. It is the only vaccine recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) for use in children between the ages of five and eleven.