Import vaccine after WHO approval : GMOA

Import vaccine after WHO approval : GMOA

Import vaccine after WHO approval : GMOA

Written by Staff Writer

15 Jan, 2021 | 9:06 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): A COVID-19 vaccine must be imported only after it receives validation from the World Health Organization, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has said.

“We will inform the people in this country about the vaccine only after carrying out postmarketing surveillance,” Dr. Naveen de Soysa, the GMOA assistant secretary insisted.

His remarks came as the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) has sought permission from the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to import COVID-19 vaccines from Russia.

“A vaccine or medicine can be used in Sri Lanka only under the approval of the NMRA,” SPC chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena told News1st on Friday.

He pointed out that the SPC had come forward to import Russia’s “Sputnik V” vaccine, as there are local agents for three other leading vaccine producers in the country.

“…several countries have approved the administration of the vaccines in their respective nations although the World Health Organization has not approved,” Dr. Gunasena noted.

Dr Hemantha Herath, the deputy director-general of health services, observed that funds have been received to import the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India.

“If we receive any vaccine that has been approved by the World Health Organization, we will take steps to distribute them if local experts grant validation for the jab,” Dr. Herath noted.

Earlier State Minister for COVID-19 Control Sudarshani Fernandopulle had said that plans are afoot to import the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from next month.

But medical experts have pointed out that the World Health Organization’s validation is required to import the vaccines.

“The absence of approval from the World Health Organization indicates that the vaccine is way behind in the race (for the vaccine,” Ravi Kumudesh, the president of the Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists said.

 

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