Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
27 Jan, 2021 | 8:42 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The COVID-19 inoculation process in Sri Lanka will begin on Friday (Jan. 29) with the frontline healthcare workers including the Tri-Forces and Police receiving the jab first, once the consignment of vaccines from India reaches the country on Thursday (Jan. 28), Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control said on Wednesday (Jan. 27).
The flight carrying the consignment of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine manufactured in India is scheduled to reach Sri Lanka at around 11:00 am on Thursday (Jan. 28), Saranath Peiris, the Airport Operations Manager of Airindia Airlines at the Bandaranaike International Airport confirmed to News 1st.
The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has already given the regulatory clearance for emergency use of Oxford /AstraZeneca in Sri Lanka.
According to State Minister Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the consignment of Oxford/ AstraZeneca obtained from India contains 600,000 doses of the vaccine; meaning 300,000 people will receive the jab since one person must be administered two doses.
“Based on the estimations as of now, there are 155,000 healthcare workers and 127,000 personnel of the Tri-Forces and Police set to receive the jab in the 1st phase of vaccination starting from Friday (29), through main hospitals and offices of the Medical Officer of Health,” State Minister Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle told News 1st on Wednesday (27).
Responding to a question raised on when the inoculation process will begin for areas extending beyond Colombo and the Western province, the State Minister said the vaccine will be provided to all provinces in the 1st phase of inoculation.
“The State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC), is currently in the process of acquiring the required doses of the COVID-19 vaccines; whilst the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) is engaged in the process of registering other COVID-19 vaccines,” she further pointed out.
Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control was hopeful that around 55 to 60 percent of the country’s population could be vaccinated under several phases of the COVID-19 inoculation process.
In other developments of COVID-19 vaccine procurement…
The list of COVID-19 vaccines submitted by the government for NMRA’s approval also includes the Sputnik V vaccine manufactured in Russia.
On behalf of the government, the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation of Sri Lanka (SPC) is working on Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.
Thereby, on 8th January, the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) submitted the relevant documents for registration of Sputnik V to the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) in order to obtain approval for the emergency use of the vaccine in Sri Lanka.
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