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UN assures support to Sri Lanka to obtain COVID-19 vaccine

23 December 2020 08:36 am - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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With several countries having started COVID-19 vaccination, the United Nations has assured Sri Lanka its support for procuring, distributing and administering of the vaccine.

This pledge was made yesterday during a meeting between Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and a U.N. delegation comprising of U.N. Resident Coordinator Ms. Hanaa Singer, WHO Representative Dr. Razia Pendse and UNICEF Representative Mr. Tim Sutton.

“We are fully committed to support Sri Lanka in these challenging times,” Ms. Singer said.

The U.N. delegation and Sri Lankan officials agreed that vaccination at such a mass scale will require a whole-of-government approach to ensure Sri Lanka’s preparedness for the delivery and administering of the vaccine once it arrives.

“In many countries, we are seeing a dangerous second wave of COVID-19,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said. “It seems that vaccines will be the only measure that can bring an end to this pandemic.”

In April this year, a global collaboration called “Access to COVID-19 Tools ACT-Accelerator” was established “to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.” Under this program, the “COVAX Facility” will offer vaccine doses for at least 20% of an eligible countries’ population, which will initially consist of high-risk groups.

Mr. Sutton stressed the importance of preparedness and creating awareness among the public. He also told the Prime Minister that while UNICEF is already assisting with procurement during the initial phase, it can also assist the Government with vaccine procurement beyond the initial 20%.

Dr. Pendse briefed the meeting on the global vaccine landscape and stressed that even with the vaccine, people will still need to take precautions.

“It’s still a new vaccine,” Dr. Pendse said. “It protects people from dying, but we don’t know how much it will reduce the transmission.”

One of the key messages that emerged from the meeting from all officials is that people cannot become complacent even after receiving the vaccine. While studies are ongoing, doctors say it’s still not certain how long the vaccine’s protection will last. Furthermore, according to doctors, it’s also uncertain whether the vaccine completely removes the virus or just reduces the viral load. If it’s the latter, a vaccinated person is still able to infect others.

Even with vaccination, the public is still strongly encouraged to continue wearing a mask, washing hands and maintaining adequate physical distance.

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  Comments - 9

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  • Sokrates Wednesday, 23 December 2020 09:20 AM

    What an opportunism and self-despicable slouch. On the one hand, Sri Lanka breaks the treaties concluded with the UN and does not allow its war criminals to be tried and, on the other hand, Sri Lanka is now begging the UN for vaccines because it is unable to buy the vaccine due to negligence and mismanagement at the World market. Shame on the selfish politicians in this country.

    Help me to understand Wednesday, 23 December 2020 10:19 AM

    Please some one enlighten me to understand, if the whole human survival depends on these vaccines, then why we give so much respect and importance to the doctors ? Any fool could be trained to administer the vaccines.

    Ronnie Bugger Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:01 AM

    We Sri Lankans now have a 'paniya' to fight COVID 19, so who needs the vaccine accepted by the whole world.

    Jude Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:20 AM

    Best thing is, wait and see approach !!maybe in March next YEAR get the Vaccine ad Moderna is BEST for LANKANS!!

    BuffaloaCitizen Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:26 AM

    The present government is bankrupt to the extent no money to purchase vaccines. The 70% population who voted for them deserve this.

    Jude Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:29 AM

    No rush ! NEXT March April would be good!!

    Selvakumar Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:30 AM

    UN will be try to helping free coronavirus vaccines to sri Lanka, if want apply to Ayurveda syrup may be reduced the virus transmission !!!

    Siripala Wednesday, 23 December 2020 11:38 AM

    Is the vaccine approved by WHO? And cremation of different religious bodies arbitrary based on racist communist agendas?

    lanakan Wednesday, 23 December 2020 06:19 PM

    Where is Our Chinese Shepherd ?


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