Lalitpur [Nepal], January 16 (ANI): Nepal has started administering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to front-line workers as infections surge in the country.
Patan Academy of Health Sciences in Lalitpur began the rollout of booster doses as other adjoining districts Kathmandu and Bhaktapur would start the latest round of inoculation only from Monday.
"Government of Nepal has decided to start the booster dose starting from today. They have prioritised front-line workers, hospital staff, traffic and police members amongst others," Professor Dr Rabi Shakya, Director at Patan Academy of Health Sciences told ANI.
"Here (at Patan Hospital) we are giving booster dose to our staff only which we have planned to complete within 5 days, inoculating around 2,000 staff and students. On daily basis we plan to cover around 500 people," added Shakya.
The government earlier had announced to inoculate doctors, nurses, paramedics, lab technicians, hospital staff and ambulance drivers with booster doses owing to the risk that lies ahead of them in their line of duty.
"Front-liners are the ones who have to look after and be in close contact with COVID-19 patients exposing themselves to the risk of being contaminated. As the rate of infection amongst the staff at hospitals tends to be increased by almost seven times making it hard to arrange manpower to continue with the daily functions, a booster dose is more useful," Shanta Dangol Shrestha, Director of Nursing Department at Patan Academy of Health Sciences told ANI after receiving her third or booster dose.
"It also comes as motivation for front-liners and government needs to be thanked for it," Shrestha added.
The booster doses would also be administered to journalists, bureaucrats, lawmakers, those serving in diplomatic missions, financial institutions, prisoners, elderly people at old age homes and refugees who were vaccinated in the first phase of the immunization campaign starting January 27.
Ministry of Health and Population also has decided to administer the third dose to all people above 60 years, inoculated six months ago as well as to those with compromised immunity from January 28.
Nepal in recent weeks has seen a surge in COVID-19 infection confirming new cases averaging 4,000 on daily basis. The Himalayan Nation in the last 24 hours (till Sunday evening) recorded a total of 4,961 new cases of coronavirus while 435 infected patients recovered. (ANI)