Kathmandu: The government has recently acquired 6.05 million doses of vaccines against measles and rubella.
Dr Abhiyan Gautam, the Chief of the Child Health and Vaccination Section at the Department of Health Services, these vaccines were brought to Nepal through grant assistance from the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunizations (GAVI). The vaccines are manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Dr Gautam also said that an additional 280,000 doses are awaited.
The government plans to administer the newly arrived vaccines to approximately 5.7 million children under 15 years old by launching a nationwide vaccination campaign from February 25 to March 20.
This initiative is in response to the significant infection risk posed by measles and rubella. The vaccination campaign will target children aged nine months to below 15 years old in 21 districts, including those districts sharing borders with India that are deemed highly vulnerable to infection.
Also, children aged nine months to five years old in the Kathmandu Valley’s three districts will be covered. In the remaining districts, vaccines will be given to children aged nine months to five years old.
Previously, the government conducted a vaccination campaign in Jajarkot and West Rukum following the November 3 earthquake. The government’s goal is to eliminate measles and rubella infections by 2026 AD.
Dr Surendra Chaurasiya, Chief of the Vaccine Supplies Management Section, said that the vaccines have been stored at the Teku-based Central Vaccine Store and will be dispatched to districts soon. Last year, rubella and measles infections reached epidemic levels in 19 districts.