Sri Lanka has begun negotiations with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, that produces the Sputnik V vaccine, to finalise a price to purchase the vaccines for the local population as the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) envisages to purchase at least seven million doses.
An official from the SPC told Daily Mirror that the Cabinet appointed price- negotiating team had begun their negotiations with Gamaleya and once a price was finalised, the SPC would place its order.
The negotiations began after the National Medicines Regulatory Authority approved the Sputnik V vaccine under emergency use in the country last Thursday.
The SPC has already unofficially informed Russia that it wished to purchase seven million doses but will await a formal response on whether Russia could supply the vast doses once the purchase agreement was being drafted. The Sputnik V vaccine will also require each individual to receive 2 doses, similar to the Astra Zeneca, and if all seven million doses were confirmed, it will inoculate 3.5 million people.
The SPC has also made an application to the NMRA for emergency use authorisation of China’s Sinovac vaccine and the anti COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech in India.
If emergency use authorisation was granted, the SPC will place the orders to purchase those vaccines as well, once the prices were finalised.
Principal Advisor to the President and Presidential Task Force for National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine Chairman Lalith Weeratunga said recently that regular and consistent supplies were the greatest constraint faced by authorities in terms of COVID-19 immunisation and said the government’s current focus was on vaccinating as much as possible of the economic sectors.(JAMILA HUSAIN)