Nepal approves Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use


By Prithvi

KATHMANDU, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's drug regulator has granted approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca for emergency use in Nepal.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine approved by Nepal's drug regulator, the Department of Drug Administration. The department said in a notice on Friday that the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for emergency use in Nepal.

Santosh K.C., information officer at the department on Saturday said, "We will take decisions regarding approval to other COVID-19 vaccines on a case to case basis after they produce all required documents."

The Department of Drug Administration on Wednesday asked the manufacturers and suppliers of COVID-19 vaccines to get listed at the department and register their vaccines for the emergency use in Nepal.

Nepal is preparing for a mass vaccination drive against the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of inoculating 72 percent of its population above the age of 15 years old.

As of Friday, health ministry data showed that a total of 266,816 people in Nepal have been confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, including 1,948 deaths.

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