According to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), of the 71.6 per cent target population, 6,609,233 (30.4 per cent) people have received their first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 and 6,036,401 (27.7 per cent) have received their full dose as of Sunday.

In total, 102,301 people were vaccinated in the last 24 hours. These days, the government is administering AstraZeneca and Vero Cell vaccines.

The Ministry confirmed 730 cases of coronavirus infection in the country, including 279 in Kathmandu valley on Sunday. With this, Nepal’s COVID caseload has reached 791,392, including 761,154 recoveries, 19,142 active cases, and 11,096 deaths.

Of those testing positive for the contagion in the valley on Sunday, 232 were from Kathmandu, 24 from Lalitpur, and 23 from Bhaktapur.

Meanwhile, Dhulikhel Hospital has started Nepal’s first-ever trial of a French COVID-19 vaccine – two doses — developed by Sanofi Pasteur in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharma company from Friday last week.

Sanofi Pasteur has allowed to administer its vaccine among 2,000 volunteers at Dhulikhel Hospital and 1,000 at Nepalgunj Medical College, to be conducted later this week. The trial is expected to take place for three months.

The Department of Drug Administration in September had granted the Sanofi and International Vaccine Institute to import the vaccine and conduct a third phase clinical trial in Nepal in line with Vaccine Clinical Trial Guidelines introduced by the government in June.

Similarly, as many as two million doses of the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India is expected to arrive in Kathmandu by the first week of October.

Of the two million doses, 1 million doses will be grant assistance from the Indian government, while Nepal government had already paid Serum in February for the remaining one million doses.

Likewise, the Chinese Red Cross on Friday provided 100,000 doses of Vero Cell vaccine to the Nepal Red Cross, which was delivered to the government.

Nepal government has been using AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in India, Japan and Europe; China-made Vero Cell; and single shot Janssen vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson in the United States of America.

Nepal so far has received a total of 17,855,590 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Of them, 4,422,740 doses were AstraZeneca type; 11,900,000 doses were Vero Cell; and 1,534,850 doses were Johnson & Johnson.

Of the 4,422,740 doses of the AstraZeneca type vaccine, 2,448,000 were Covishield, manufactured in India. India had provided 1.1 million doses to Nepal under grant assistance.

Covax had supplied 348,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine. Bhutan supplied 230,000 doses, Japan provided 1,614,740 doses and the United Kingdom 130,000 doses of the AstraZeneca type vaccine to Nepal.

China has so far supplied 11,900,000 doses of the Vero Cell vaccine. Besides this, the United States had supplied 1,534,850 doses of the single-shot Janssen vaccine.

The government has already paid for 4 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine through the World Bank to the US manufacturer, and delivery is expected by mid-February next year.

As per the Health Ministry, it aims to vaccinate at least 33 percent of the population by Dashain.