ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is in the process of donating over 40 million US dollar worth six million Pfizer vaccines to Myanmar after majority of the people are reluctant to obtain the fourth or the second booster dose.
Sri Lanka, which struggled to bring down the Covid-19 vaccines in the initial stage of the pandemic, bought 18 million Pfizer vaccines for booster doses. However, many Sri Lankans have yet to get their both first and second boosters because only a few Covid-19 patients are detected on a daily basis.
Out of the total Pfizer vaccines, over 9 million vaccines are still remaining, the Health Ministry sata showed.
Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said Sri Lanka has started a process to donate most of the vaccines out of the remaining to Myanmar.
“The extension period of the vaccine is now extended until end of this year by WHO (World Health Organization). I am trying to send 6 million dose to Myanmar,” he told in an interview with EconomyNext on Thursday.
Though 17.1 million Sri Lankans have received the first dose, only around 200,000 people have taken the fourth done or the second booster dose, the official data showed.
“They are complacent about it,” the minister said referring to the public attitude over receiving the second booster dose.
As a result, Sri Lanka is now trying to donate them to Myanmar, where cold chain storage has been a concern.
“These people (Myanmar) are trying their best since we are giving them a donation. We can’t sell it. That’s a rule. So we are working on that and WHO is working on that. But only thing is they have to prepare their cold chain,” Rambukwella said.
“If the WHO recommends after monitoring their cold chain only we will proceed. (Colombo/ Oct 14/2022)