UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING COVID VACCINE TO SL

UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING COVID VACCINE TO SL

UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDING COVID VACCINE TO SL

Written by Zulfick Farzan

21 Jan, 2021 | 6:10 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The Presidential Task Force handling Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan said it is still uncertainty when the island will be receiving COVID-19 vaccines from India.

India has begun the exportation of its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute under the name Covishield among neighbouring states.

The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation has not granted clearance for the local agent of the Indian vaccine manufacturer to supply the Covishield jab to Sri Lanka.

The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation’s General Manager K.M.D.R. Dissanayake said discussions are taking place with a private company that acts as a local agent of India’s Serum Institute.

The importation of the vaccine would require emergency approval from the National Medicines Regulatory Authority and a recommendation from the government.

Since a recommendation cannot be granted to a private company, the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation had sought permission from India’s Serum Institute to act as its local agent.

The Indian vaccine manufacturer had responded that it would take steps to register the jab in Sri Lanka through diplomatic means instead of its local agent.

Accordingly, the Indian High Commission in Colombo had submitted the relevant documentation to the National Medicines Regulatory Authority on Tuesday afternoon.

India has begun the process of distributing the Covishield vaccine among neighbouring nations that include Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar,

State Minister of Urban Development, Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said when the vaccine is imported it will be first made available to the frontline health workers and then to Sri Lanka Police and Armed Force.

Thereafter, the jab will be given to those above the age of 65 said the State Minister adding measures are underway to ensure all Sri Lankan receive the vaccine.

However, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged the government is deceiving the people with false promises on when the vaccine will arrive in Sri Lanka.

The Government must state from where the vaccine is coming from and under what agreement, claimed the UNP Leader.

Wickremesinghe said the government must not give false hopes to the people of the country.

Former MP Saman Ratnapriya said there is a serious concern when all other neighbouring countries receive the COVID-19 vaccine from India, and Sri Lanka is yet to receive it.

He alleged there is a concern as to whether Sri Lanka will receive the vaccine when the country releases the East Container Terminal to India.

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