Nepal approved on Thursday the emergency use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of China’s Sinopharm, a government official said, the second vaccine cleared after Oxford-AstraZeneca's product. The move paves the way for China to donate 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the Himalayan nation, which last month received one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine free of charge from its other big neighbour India. Nepal will also buy the AstraZeneca vaccine from India.
Nepal launched its immunisation drive on January 27 beginning with medical workers, and plans to eventually cover 72% of the South Asian country's 30 million people. Health and Population Minister Hridayesh Tripathi told Reuters Nepal would soon buy two million doses of the AstraZeneca shot