Sri Lanka has covered vaccination of almost all people above 30 years of age in areas that were considered COVID-19 hotspots with potentialily to generate active clusters, a State Minister said today.
State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana told the Daily Mirror that 750,000 people had been inoculated against COVID-19 until yesterday, and had 500,000 more jabs to be administered to people in high risk areas.
The Minister said Sri Lanka is badly in need of 1.5 million more doses.
“We have to give the jabs to at least 2.5 million people. So, we want 1.5 million more doses,” he said.
As part of the move to fulfil the urgent requirement, he said the government had written to the Russian authorities with regards to the availability of Sputnik V vaccine.
“We are ready with the monetary resource to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. We wrote to Russia asking about the availability of the vaccines and their delivery to Sri Lanka,” he said.
After a prolonged process, the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) gave clearance to Sputnik V Vaccine developed by Russia.
Responding to a question about the irregularities in the vaccine rollout, he said the process is in progress despite a few shortcomings.
“We go by Grama Niladhari division level in selecting people for inoculation.
Meanwhile, China has pledged to donate 600,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine.
However, the NMRC is yet to give regulatory clearance for it.
Prof. Jayasumana said details about the clinical trials of this vaccine has not yet been submitted to Sri Lanka as yet, resulting in the delay in regulatory clearance.(Kelum Bandara)