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200,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V jab to arrive in Sri Lanka mid-April: SPC

The Sputnik V vaccine contains two slightly different doses – Image credit: Marco Verch/Flickr

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will receive 200,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine most likely at the end of the upcoming Sinhala & Tamil New Year holidays, an official said.

State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) General Manager Dinusha Dassanayake told EconomyNext this morning that the consignment will contain the first and second doses for 100,000 Sri Lankans. Notably, and unlike other COVID-19 vaccines such as the Indian Covishield or the Chinese Sinopharm, the second dose of Sputnik V is slightly different to the first in that it uses different vectors – the neutralised virus that carries the spike to the body. The two doses are to be administered 21 days apart.

The first batch of the Russian jab that’s due mid-April is part of seven million doses that Sri Lanka had initially approved the purchase of for a sum of USD 69.65 million. The Cabinet of Ministers yesterday approved a proposal to purchase another six million doses at a price of USD 9.95 per dose, the cabinet office said today.

Sri Lanka will have purchased a total of 13 million doses of the Russian vaccine by December this year and, according to Dassanayake, payments will be invoiced per consignment.

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use in Sri Lanka on March 04 and, on March 23, based on recommendations by a cabinet-appointed negotiation committee, the ministers approved a proposal by the Minister of Health to purchase seven million doses for USD 69.65 million.

The vaccine has been approved by 39 countries for emergency use. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has yet to approve it. (Colombo/Apr06/2021)

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