Barriers to vaccinating older people in Nepal. The limitations of public health infrastructure and the vicissitudes of vaccine nationalism.
Several Global Platform blogs and papers have criticised the failure of some governments to give people at the oldest ages sufficient priority in their COVID-19 vaccination strategies.
In the cases of some other countries, older people have received priority status, but the capacity of the public health system to reach many of them has been limited. As a result, many of the most vulnerable older people, such as those with limited mobility, without access to digital technology or living in rural areas remain unprotected.
This would appear to be the case in Nepal and HelpAge International have kindly agreed to share a new blog on these vaccination barriers https://www.helpage.org/newsroom/latest-news/older-people-are-prioritised-on-paper-but-not-in-reality/
As in many countries, Nepal has to contend with specific challenges, including disruption caused by the monsoon season and the fickle geopolitics of vaccine supply from other countries. Also, there have been frequent changes of leadership in government departments responsible for procuring and managing vaccines.
Nepal’s vaccination strategy may not be ageist, but this will be of little comfort to the many older Nepalese who remain at extreme risk of COVID-19.