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Nepal to destroy 4 million doses of China’s Sinovac shots as China refuses to take back vaccines

Nepal is all set to destroy 4 million doses of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine. The Nepal government saw no significant use of the vaccine which is inefficient in combating the Coronavirus compared to other vaccines in the market. The decision comes after China refused to take back it’s vaccines.

Nepal to destroy 4 million doses of China's Sinovac shots as China refuses to take back vaccines avv
First Published Jan 3, 2024, 2:59 PM IST

The Nepal government is currently planning to administer a newer set of booster doses for all age groups amidst the rising fear of another COVID-19 wave. Governments around the world are gearing up their preparations as the JN.1 variant is rapidly spreading across the globe. COVID-19 vaccines have been successful in dealing with the later stages of the pandemic and keeping the threat of newer variants at bay.

Nepal grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic for two years like any other country. However, the deadly second wave caused far more damage in comparison to the first wave. Amidst the health emergency during the second wave, China pressurized the then Nepal government of K P Sharma Oli to accept Sinovac vaccines as part of health aid. However, close to 4 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have been lying in the storage facility in Nepal to date. 

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The expert panel in Nepal recommended the Pfizer, Moderna, and Astra Zeneca vaccines over the Sinovac. The panel came to a conclusion following a report from the World Health Organization which endorsed the use of  Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. China’s Sinovac vaccine found fewer buyers due to its higher rate of inefficiency in tackling the Coronavirus. Hence, China was forced to distribute it’s COVID-19 vaccine to other countries in the form of aid.

The Nepal government recently decided to destroy 4 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine as it found no other broader use. Nepal had already appealed China through diplomatic channels to take back the vaccines. However, China refused to take back vaccines made by themselves. Nepal will now destroy the vaccines as it prepares for administering booster doses. The Nepal government prefers vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

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