ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers has approved a proposal to purchase seven million doses of the Russian-manufactured Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for USD 69.65 million, the cabinet office said.
The National Medicines Regulatory Authority approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use in Sri Lanka on March 04 and, subsequently, based on recommendations by a cabinet-appointed negotiation committee, the ministers approved a proposal to make the purchase.
The vaccine is produced by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, a Russian medical-research institute which operates under the purview of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. The Russian Direct Investment Fund claims the vaccine to be 95 per cent effective against the virus.
The vaccine needs to be stored at temperatures between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius (a standard fridge is roughly 3 to 5 degrees). The second dose is required to be administered 21 days after receiving the first jab. Unusually, the second dose of the Sputnik V vaccine carries a different formula to the first. Both formulae target the coronavirus’s distinctive ‘spike’, but the two doses contain slightly different vectors – the neutralised virus that carries the spike to the body.
The vaccines has been approved by 39 countries for emergency use. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has yet to approve it. (Colombo/Mar24/2021)