- India yet to confirm
- Serum Institute unable to comply due to ban in export of vaccinations imposed by India
By JAMILA HUSAIN
Sri Lanka is yet to set a date as to when it will begin the second round of COVID-19 vaccinations as India is yet to confirm if it can cater to the Sri Lankan Government’s urgent request to export one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the Daily Mirror learns.
The Serum Institute in India, which manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine is unable to continue supplying to Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry at least for the next one or two months with a sudden spike of infections in almost all Indian states and the Government has now begun talks at diplomatic level to urgently procure one million doses.
If the Sri Lankan Government successfully secures the one million doses, it can complete the second round of vaccinations as to date nearly one million people including health workers have been vaccinated in the Western Province in the first round.
The Daily Mirror learns that despite an initial assurance that the Serum Institute would supply 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in April and a further 500,000 doses in May, which would secure the country for the second round, The Serum Institute is unable to go ahead with shipment due to a ban in exports of vaccinations imposed by the Indian government.
A senior official from the State Pharmaceutical Corporation here said the Government was in talks directly with the Indian Government to urgently secure one million doses while a senior Indian official said Serum Institute was yet to be notified whether to continue its supply to the Sri Lankan Government.
Although State Minister of of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Sudarshini Fernandopulle notified Parliament on April 5 that the vaccination process for those who received the first AstraZeneca doses will commence on April 19, the Epidemiology Unit said they were yet to set a date. “Once a date is set we will notify the public,” Chief Epidemiologist Dr.Sudath Samaraweera said.