- Sputnik V, Pfizer vaccines to arrive in batches
- No side effect of SinoPharm vaccine
- Govt engages other AstraZeneca manufacturers
- Plans in place to vaccinate 40 percent of people by August
By Kelum Bandara
In the wake of disruption to supply of AstraZeneca vaccines from Serum Institute of India due to worsening of the Covid-19 situation, Sri Lanka is in touch with other manufacturers for purchases to proceed with the vaccine roll-out without any disruption, an official said yesterday.
Principal advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga told a news conference that 925, 242 persons received the first jabs of this vaccine, and Sri Lanka currently had only 356,000 doses in stock for the administration of second doses.
Asserting that the deteriorating situation in India had impacted the delivery process, he expressed optimism that Serum Institute would continue to supply vaccines to Sri Lanka in keeping with the order placed for 1.5 million vaccines. “I believe the rest of vaccines will be delivered at least in small quantities. In the meantime, we are in touch with other manufacturers of AstraZeneca vaccine to ensure uninterrupted vaccine roll-out in the country,” he said.
Commenting on China’s donation of 600, 000 Sinopharm vaccines, he said 5000 Chinese nationals had been vaccinated with doses from this stock, and none of them had shown any side effect. He said this vaccine could be used on Sri Lankan nationals once the National Medicines Regulatory Authority gave clearance. Chairman of State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Dr. Prasanna Gunasena said the health authorities would be able to vaccinate 40 percent of the population by August and September since steady supplies of vaccines such as Sputnik V and Pfizer had been assured at the moment. According to a commercial arrangement with Russia, 200,000 Sputnik V vaccines will be dispatched to Sri Lanka by the end of this month, 400,000 next month, 800,000 in June and 1.2 million vaccines afterwards. Besides, Pfizer will deliver 35,000 doses between April and June, and another 105,000 between June and September. Dr. Gunasena said another 4.5 million doses of Pfizer would be delivered between October and December. The World Bank will provide financial assistance for the purchase of Pfizer vaccines.
- Health authorities would be able to vaccinate 40 percent of the population by August and September