‘63% of the population will be vaccinated in 2021’

2021-05-04 at 15:18

The government says it is hopeful of fully vaccinating 63% of the country’s population against COVID-19 before the end of 2021.

Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi speaking in Parliament today said the government’s initial goal was to vaccinate 60% of the country’s population.

The Minister said Sri Lanka has placed an order for 13 million Russian manufactured Sputnik-V doses of which 15,000 doses arrived in the island this morning.

The Minister said the remaining stock of the 13 million will arrive in the island in stages.

She added Sri Lanka will also receive another 8.4 million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVIShield doses under the World Health Organisation COVAX facility in the coming months.

The Health Minister noted an order has also been placed for five million doses of the US manufactured Pfizer vaccine, that is due to arrive in the island within the year.

She also claimed that Sri Lanka is in possession of 600,000 doses of the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine.

Minister Wanniarachchi said the government is currently signing agreements with vaccine manufacturing companies in order to obtain vaccines.

The Health Minister also stated that talks are underway with India’s Bharat Biotech and Johnson and Johnson to obtain vaccines.

She said Sri Lanka’s vaccination programme standards are similar to that in developed countries.