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Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka to receive Sinopharm vaccine starting Monday

ECONOMYNEXT – Si Lanka will start administering the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19 on Chinese nationals employed in the island next week, officials said.

State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Dr Sudarshini Fernandopulle said around 4,500 to 5,000 Chinese nationals have been identified for the initial rollout.

Sri Lanka received 600,000 doses of the Chinese donated Sinopharm vaccine yesterday. The consignment was transported from the Banadranaike International Airport to the health ministry’s central storage facility.

Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera told reporters yesterday that vaccination of the Chinese National will commence in Colombo, Puttalam, Hambanthota and Kandy districts starting next Monday (05).

Meanwhile, Dr Chandima Jeewandara, Director of Operations and Clinical Services at the Sri Jayawardenapura University’s Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit,  told reporters yesterday that the country’s vaccination drive has shown positive results.

“Antibodies up to around 93 percent can be seen in the patients who received the first jab,” Jeewandara said.

“However, it is important to get the second dose in order to be protected from the virus,” he added.

Research indicates that the second dose should be taken from the same brand, the expert further noted.

Up to 913,219 have received the first dose from the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine in Sri Lanka so far. (Colombo/Apr01/2021)

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