KATHMANDU, June 5 — Nepal’s drug regulator has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech for emergency use in the country, which is suffering from a deadly second wave of the pandemic.

It is the second Chinese vaccine to have got approval from the Department of Drug Administration for emergency use in Nepal, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nepal has already granted approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by China’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd, under Sinopharm, for emergency use in Nepal.

“It is to notify to all concerned that the conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorisation of COVID-19 Vaccine (Vero Cell) Inactivated (CoronaVac) manufactured by Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd in Nepal,” said a statement issued by the department on Friday.

According to the department, the vaccine was approved for immunisation of individuals aged 18 or above.

Director general of the department, Bharat Bhattarai told Xinhua on Saturday that the authorisation was granted to Sinovac after the regulator completed the study of the data provided by the Chinese company.

“It is also the last vaccine to get regulatory approval from the department. We have not received an application from any additional company for approval at the moment,” said Bhattarai.

On June 1, the World Health Organisation validated the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use for people 18 years and older.

In face of the raging coronavirus, Nepal has only got 2 per cent of its some 30 million population administered twice for now as there is a short supply of vaccines, according to the Health Ministry.

As of Friday, the South Asian nation had recorded 581,560 confirmed COVID-19 infections and a death toll of 7,731.


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