First batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccines under COVAX Facility arrived

Vaccines will be given to people over 60-years of age from March 8

The first batch of 264,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccines under COVAX Facility by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was received this morning.

The consignment was received at the Katunayake airport by Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID-19 Disease Control Minister Sudarshani Fernandopulle.

The consignment was freighted into the country by an Emirates cargo aircraft this morning.

The Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe and UNICEF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Emma Brigham were also present at the airport when the consignment was received.

It was stacked in the  aircraft's freezer storage. Soon after unloading, the consignment was ttansferred to the cold storage facility situated at the Import Cargo yard at the Airport.

While addressing the event, Minister Fernandopulle said this is the first such consignment of vaccines received by Sri Lanka under the COVAX Facility. 

There are 264,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccines, the Minister said.

She said these vaccines manufactured by the Serum Pharmaceutical Factory in Mumbai, India.
These vaccines will be administeref to people over 60-years of age from March 8.

After the inoculation, a report will be submitted to the WHO. Following that report, the country will receive the second batch of COVISHIELD vaccines donated by the COVAX Facility, the Minister said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama and T.K.G. Kapila)

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