The World Health Organisation, in an internal discussion held recently has said that it will honour its commitment made to Sri Lanka to provide 1.4 million doses of the anti COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX facility by end of May, which will secure Sri Lanka enough dosages to begin its second round.
The Daily Mirror learns that while the WHO has already supplied 264,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccines to the government, which was now being used to inoculate citizens above the age of 60 years, another consignment was likely due in April.
“We are still unsure as to in how many batches the doses will be sent in. But the WHO is looking to honour its commitment by end of May which will secure us enough doses for the second round,” an official said.
“The WHO will provide the Astra Zeneca vaccines under its COVAX facility with a majority doses being acquired from the Serum Institute in India. However, if there is any shortfall, the additional dosages may also be acquired from South Korea which produces the Astra Zeneca,” it is said.
When questioned whether the doses could be mixed, the highranking official said the Astra Zeneca produced in India and South Korea was of the same formula, and thereby if a person had been inoculated with the Indian vaccine during the first dose, the Korean vaccine could be used for the second dose as well. However what had not been recommended was the mixing of two separate types of vaccines for the two dosages. Meanwhile the NMRA is also in the process of studying China’s Sinopharm vaccine while an application has also been made to clear the vaccine from Bharath Biotech in India.
Sri Lanka is also looking to purchase seven million doses of the Sputnik V from Russia. (JAMILA HUSAIN)