Sri Lanka – 01st South Asian nation to receive Pfizer jabs financed by World Bank

Sri Lanka – 01st South Asian nation to receive Pfizer jabs financed by World Bank

Sri Lanka – 01st South Asian nation to receive Pfizer jabs financed by World Bank

Written by Zulfick Farzan

05 Jul, 2021 | 1:25 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka has become the first country in South Asia to acquire a contingent of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, tweeted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday (05).

26,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine reached Sri Lanka on Monday (05) morning, the first batch of 800,000 doses to be delivered in the next few weeks.

“The delivery of this first batch of vaccines reflects the joint work of the government of Sri Lanka and its partners to ensure fair access to safe and effective vaccines for Sri Lankans,” said Faris H. Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. “More vaccines are under review and will arrive by year’s end.”

The Health Ministry said the Pfizer vaccine will be used as the second dose for those who already received the 01st dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

State Minister (Professor) Channa Jayasumana said Sri Lanka is the first South Asian country to receive the Pfizer vaccine and the country has reached an agreement for 05 million doses of the vaccine in 2021.

‘Pfizer is a vaccine accepted across the world and the Health Ministry will decide who would receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena told reporters that Sri Lanka is to receive 200,000 doses of the vaccine in July 2021.

The vaccines were procured through the procedure established in the loan agreement signed with the Government of Sri Lanka in May 2021, as well as the two criteria for the World Bank vaccine approval.

The World Bank funding can be provided for vaccines that received regular or emergency license or authorization from at least one of the Stringent Regulatory Authorities identified by the World Health Organization for vaccines procured and/or supplied under the COVAX facility, and vaccines that received WHO prequalification or WHO emergency use listing.

The Sri Lanka COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health System Preparedness Project with a total of $298.07 million, including additional $80.5 million for vaccine support, has contributed to Sri Lanka’s pandemic management and prevention efforts.

Expected project results include meeting short term emergency needs, including cash transfers for economically vulnerable populations, as well as long term strengthening of health systems for pandemic preparedness.

Pfizer Vaccine Facts :

– Pfizer developed packaging and storage innovations to be fit for purpose for the range of locations where we believe vaccinations will take place. Specially designed,temperature-controlled thermal shippers utilizing dry ice to maintain recommended storage temperature conditions of -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened.

– GPS-enabled thermal sensors with a control tower that will track the location and temperature of each vaccine shipment across their pre-set routes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

– These GPS-enabled devices will allow Pfizer to proactively prevent unwanted deviations and act before they happen.

Once a POU receives a thermal shipper with our vaccine, they have three options for storage:
* Ultra-low-temperature freezers, which are commercially available and can extend shelf life for up to six months.

* The Pfizer thermal shippers, in which doses will arrive, that can be used as temporary storage units by refilling with dry ice every five days for up to 30 days of storage.

* Refrigeration units that are commonly available in hospitals. The vaccine can be stored for five days at refrigerated 2-8°C conditions.

– After storage for up to 30 days in the Pfizer thermal shipper, vaccination centers can transfer the vials to 2-8°C storage conditions for an additional five days, for a total of up to 35 days.

– Once thawed and stored under 2-8°C conditions, the vials cannot be re-frozen or stored under frozen conditions.

– The various storage options at the POU allow for equitable access to the Pfizer vaccine to areas with differing infrastructure.

NOTE : Since the publication of this article, the President’s Tweet has been deleted.

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