Covishield—A COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by India has reportedly been ratified by Nepal. Covishield has been developed by the Oxford University and AstraZeneca jointly and is being manufactured by the Indian Institute of Serum located in Pune. Significantly, Nepal has expressed confidence in India’s vaccine over China’s vaccine despite tensions in recent relations with India and its linkages to China. However, this approval is seen as a good sign for the future relationship between India and Nepal.
According to the sources, about 1.2 crore doses of the vaccine have been requested by Nepal. Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the availability and delivery of the vaccine to his Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli over a telephonic conversation. From tomorrow, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign is set to commence in India.
On Thursday, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali arrived in New Delhi. The Nepalese Minister is slated to attend the sixth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission on Friday and will co-chair the meeting with External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Nepal’s Health Secretary is also accompanied by Gyawali. It is believed that during this visit, an agreement is to be signed between the two countries related to the purchase of Covishield.
India is planning to supply the COVID-19 vaccine to its needy neighbouring and allied countries. Recently, senior US legislator Brad Sherman praised India’s decision of supplying vaccines to neighbouring countries like Nepal. Sherman said that India is one of the largest vaccine-producing countries and it has stepped up to help the world deal with this pandemic in these difficult times.