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’Get Astra Zeneca at any cost’ - President instructs Lalith

1 June 2021 03:25 pm - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed his principal advisor Lalith Weeratunga to expedite the search for the AstraZeneca vaccines as 600,000 people await their second jabs.

As time is soon running out, the President has instructed Weeratunga to secure the stocks as soon as possible and to purchase the doses at any price, the Daily Mirror learns. 

Inquiries have been made by Sri Lanka to several countries holding the stocks and even private companies who have extra stocks, which they had purchased for their employees.

However, when the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) had inquired from AstraZeneca if they could purchase from these third parties, AstraZeneca had replied saying these stocks could be counterfeit and should be reported to the authorities immediately. 

In desperation to get this stock of 600,000 doses, Sri Lankan authorities said it is even willing to charter a flight to fly down these vaccines if the stocks can be successfully purchased by any authorized source or country. 

Requests have also been made to the Serum Institute of India who had initially promised the stocks but later had to halt supplies due to rising local demand and a temporary halt on vaccine imports imposed by the Indian government.

A senior official said the reason the authorities had administered all the 1 million doses of Astra Zeneca doses to the public was because Serum Institute had assured the SPC of continuous supplies which would ensure the smooth administration of the second jabs, but later it did not fulfill its commitment.  

The cabinet of ministers have now been continuously discussing the matter when cabinet convenes with the President and Prime Minister every week, but so far, there has been no positive response in securing the doses. 

Desperate citizens who received the first doses of the Astra Zeneca doses have been lining up outside hospitals and even temples in recent days, as messages spread on Whatsapp groups of the possibility of getting the jabs.

Still the government is to issue any official statement on what the alternate course would be if the stocks do not arrive in the country. 

Health officials have extended the time frame between the first and second doses to 16 weeks, but now say that this can be extended further. (JAMILA HUSAIN)

 

 

 

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  Comments - 12

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  • Jinna Tuesday, 01 June 2021 06:19 PM

    Sir- You have successfully FAILED !

    KNS Tuesday, 01 June 2021 06:24 PM

    Please arrange a barter against SINOPHAM with a neighbouring country having AstraZenica..

    Lal Tuesday, 01 June 2021 06:40 PM

    A N Y. C O ST. WHO WILL PAY???

    Sam Silva Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:29 PM

    Bond money still their pockets.

    Era Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:08 PM

    What a failure. May be you should resign and let someone else take over

    Mirosaan Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:15 PM

    ZERO planning in terms of vaccination.

    Gunadasa Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:15 PM

    Try with Europe. France and some other EU countries have stopped using AZ and they may give their remaining vaccines free.

    Borat Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:23 PM

    Any cost translates money into my pocket

    Suda Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:37 PM

    Not to worry, Gota will get it from Bangladesh!!

    mah Tuesday, 01 June 2021 07:37 PM

    Dear President, personally suggest you to talk with Indian PM

    Manoj Tuesday, 01 June 2021 08:46 PM

    This is good news for the 600,000 citizens, Well Done

    shan Tuesday, 01 June 2021 09:38 PM

    At any cost get at least Astra-Margarine


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