Nepal received 130,000 doses of COVID-19 Astra-Zeneca vaccines as grant assistance from the United Kingdom on Thursday.

Earlier, during a meeting, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and British Ambassador to Nepal Nicola Pollitt had discussed about vaccines and other assistance.

Speaking at a meeting of the Education and Health Committee under the House of Representatives on the same day, Minister of State for Health Umesh Shrestha informed that nearly 300,000 people were receiving anti-COVID shots on a daily basis.

“The plan is to augment the present drive and vaccinate 500,000 people on a daily basis. The government is committed to administer 53 million doses soon,” he added.

So far, 9 million doses of vaccines have been administered in the country and 4 million (13 per cent) have got double dose. Similarly, 18 per cent have got the first dose.

Currently, the government is inoculating Grade XI and XII students aged 18 or above with the aim to conduct board exams with physical presence.

“The government has been planning to conduct Grade XII exams in the last week of Bhadra or first week of Ashwin. The exams will be held by managing home centers,” he added.

A goal has been set to vaccinate 60,000 students in Kathmandu valley with the Japan-donated AstraZeneca vaccines, while 23,000 have been inoculated so far.

About 400,000 Grade XII students across the country are awaiting their final examinations.

Minister Shrestha added that discussion was held with Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra to import one million doses of anti-COVID vaccines, for which Nepal government had already paid.

He informed that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines would be provided soon to people below 18 years of age.

Lawmakers who attended the meeting drew the government’s attention towards the need to expedite the vaccination drive so as to save people’s lives and restore economic activities.