Kathmandu [Nepal], July 19 (ANI): Nepal on Monday began vaccinating the most vulnerable sections of the population, including differently abled people, with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine donated by the USA.
As the paramedics administered the single-shot vaccine, differently-abled people residing at Nepal Disabled Association Khagendra New Life Center smiled and cheered in relief and joy.
"We had to wait for long to get inoculated. A certain portion of the population was already administered with the vaccine but this J&J vaccine has been specifically allotted to those with permanent and severe disabilities. Finally I have been administered with the dose. Happiness doesn't have any boundaries," Babulal Bishwokarma, one of the first recipients of US manufactured and donated vaccine told ANI.
Also, differently abled persons are happy as they don't have to worry about the second dose or travel arrangements to receive the jab.
"This has come as a great relief for us. We need not worry about when we will be called for second dose or line up outside inoculation centers for it (second dose). The work is done in one shot. I am confident this one dose comes as a great relief for us," Babulal said.
People between ages of 50 and 54 years, differently-abled ones, refugees and sanitation workers are being inoculated with the single-shot vaccine from July 19 to 21.
Newly elected Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and US Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry inaugurated the vaccination program from the vaccination centre itself.
The United States on July 12 had provided a little over 1.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine through COVAX, an international vaccine sharing scheme. The arrival of the American vaccine has come as a big respite for Nepal, which is struggling to secure enough doses to inoculate its population.
"Corona pandemic is raging but after being inoculated, I feel safe from the infection. This vaccine also has given me relief and pleasure because other vaccines need to be shot multiple times but for this one, a single shot works. This has brought relief and joy," Rakesh, another recipient of single-shot J&J vaccine shared his happiness with ANI.
1.5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States of America (USA) had arrived in Nepal on July 12.
According to the US Embassy in Nepal, this vaccine requires only one shot to be fully vaccinated -- meaning 1.5 million people will soon be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Nepal.
Kathmandu Metropolitan City has designated 22 vaccination centers around the capital as it will be administered to targeted age and population group in from 19th to 21st July.
The single-shot J&J vaccine provided by the US government to Nepal under COVAX facility came as a big respite for the country.
The vaccine is the third to become approved for inoculation in the country after Covishield (AstraZeneca) and Vero Cell, and the first that requires only one shot. (ANI)