ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka hopes to vaccinate 63 percent of the population with vaccines now on order and 8.7 million doses expected from the World Health Organization Covax facility, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said.
Sri Lanka has also ordered 13 million Sputnik doses from Russia, the first 15,000 doses of which arrived on May 03. Sri Lanka has also ordered from Pfizer.
“From the Covax facility we will get 8.7 million AstraZeneca doses,” Minister Wanniaracchi told parliament.
“We hope to vaccinate 63 percent of the population by the end of the year.”
Sri Lanka has vaccinated about 925,000 persons from the AstraZeneca vaccines given free and bought from India but there is a problem with vaccinating the balance after the Indian Coronavirus outbreak.
“We are also talking to Johnson and Johnson and Bharat Biotech,” she said.
Sri Lanka also had 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines for which approval is awaited.
The WHO is expected to give a decision on the Chinese vaccine in May.
Minister Wanniaracchi said the National Medical Regulatory Authority would give approval for a vaccine if it was approved by two ‘stringent’ regulatory authorities abroad such as the Food and Drug Administration even if WHO approval was not here.
Prasanna Gunasena Chairman, State Pharmaceutical Corporation told reporters a week ago that under an agreement with Russia, 200,000 would be delivered the first month which will increase to 1.2 million by July.
From Pfizer 35,000 was expected from April to June, 105,000 from July to September and 4.8 million by October to December. (Colombo/May04/2021)