ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will receive 185,000 doses of the Russian made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine by next Tuesday (25) with a portion of the 20 million AstraZeneca doses donated to countries by the United States also expected, State Minister Channa Jayasumana said.
Sri Lanka received 15,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine on May 04 and rollout began May 16.
Jayasumana, Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production Supply and Regulation, told reporters today that after the May 25 consignment, a regular supply of Sputnik V can be expected from June onwards until a promised seven million doses have all been delivered.
US President Joe Biden announced that 20 million of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine currently in storage in the US will be donated to the countries around the world. Minister Jayasumana said Sri Lanka is among these countries.
Sri Lanka has given the second dose of AstraZeneca to 292,457 people out of 925,242 who have received their first jab.
Meanwhile the first dose of the China-manufactured Sinopharm vaccine has been administered to 424,823 including Chinese nationals as of today (18). The second dose has been given to 2,435 Chinese nationals who received their first dose weeks before the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) approved it for emergency use in Sri Lanka.
Out of the 15,000 doses of Sputnik V, 14,699 have been administered as of May 17.
Chief Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Samaraweera said the expert’s committees have recommended the vaccines for breast feeding women as well.
“No complications will arise after getting the vaccine and mothers can continue to breastfeed children before and right after receiving the vaccine,” Samaraweera said.
“The vaccine will not affect the milk or its nutrition in any way,” he added.
Obstetrician and gynaecologist and health ministry consultant Dr Pradeep Silva said the ministry’s technical committee has also approved the vaccine for pregnant women.
“However, the vaccine will be given only under the supervision and recommendation of a specialist and with the willingness of the mother,” Silva said.
Guidelines will be issued in the near future for breastfeeding and pregnant women regarding the vaccine, the official said. (Colombo/May 17/2021)