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Nepal approves use of Covishield vaccine manufactured in India

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New Delhi, Jan 15: Nepal on Friday granted approval for AstraZeneca's COVISHIELD vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the country.

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The decision to grant the approval for the vaccine was taken on Friday, Nepal''s Department of Drug Administration (DDA) said in a statement.

"Conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorisation of Covishield vaccine against COVID-19 in Nepal," the statement said.

Drug major AstraZeneca has partnered with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), the world''s largest vaccine manufacturer, for the supply of the vaccine to the Indian government and also to a large number of low and middle-income countries.

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The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, is made from a virus which is a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus), that has been genetically changed so that it is impossible for it to grow in humans.

Issuing a notice on Friday, the DDA asked manufacturers or importers to get approval for registration to bring COVID -19 vaccines in Nepal. Three importers submitted applications, said the officials at the DDA.

Nepal on Friday detected 270 new coronavirus cases, taking the national COVID-19 tally to 266,816.

Of the total cases reported so far, 260,567 people have recovered, whereas 1,948 have died, according to the Ministry of Health.

In the past 24 hours, 390 people have been discharged from isolation centres after their recovery, while five new deaths have been reported. As of now, Nepal has 4,301 COVID-19 active cases, it said.

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