As the government has failed to procure additional Covishield vaccines for second dose to the elderlies who’ve already had their first shot more than three months ago, black-marketing of jabs is reportedly gaining momentum in various parts of the country.
According to news report published by BBC Nepali, some people living in Kathmandu admitted to the news organization that their relatives were paying money to get Covishield shots through backdoor.
Nepal government has not allowed the private sector to procure or sell anti-COVID vaccines in the country.
While people living in areas bordering to India are reportedly brining Covishield vaccines into the country and selling them illegally, others are reportedly stealing the jabs from government’s storage and selling them in black market.
More than 1.3 million Nepalis are anxiously awaiting the second dose of Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and produced in India.
The government of Nepal has not been able to administer a second dose after India banned vaccine export since last April.
Meanwhile, protests erupted in Birtamod of Jhapa against the Birtamod Municipal Office after local residents found 200 doses of Vero Cell vaccines hidden at the Timeless Moment Hotel on Friday last week.
On the same day, a local resident of Arghakhanchi district landed in police net after he posted a photo on his Facebook account saying that he, his wife, son, and a neighbor along with seven others received anti-COVID jabs from an Indian buffalo trader.
According to the man’s confession to the police, he had bought the vaccines at Rs 1,000 each vial from a buffalo trader who worked along the Nepal-India border.
Last week on Wednesday, Birtanagar locals staged protest at 11 in the night immediately after they found that Nepali Congress leader Bimal Raj Bhandari was distributing Vero Cell vaccines from his residence with the coordination of Mayor Bhim Parajuli.
The Mayor has refuted his involvement in the incident.
In Kathmandu, Sunday’s inoculation drive at Sukraraj Tropical Hospital and Bir Hospital has been postponed until further notice after people other than the target group created chaos at the health institutions.
Chief of the Kathmandu Department of Health Badri Bahadur Khadka said that the vaccination program had to be postponed as people other than the target group were trying to get the jabs through influence and intimidation.
He added that such people had also attacked health workers and threating them to provide vaccines.