Vaccine of COVAX facility to arrive before 7 Mar.

2021-03-02 at 15:35

State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Sudarshini Fernandopulle says 264,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine is due to arrive in the island by the 7th of March, as the first stock of vaccines provided by the World Health Organization under the COVAX facility.

Speaking during a programme at the Chilaw Hospital the State Minister said only a few countries have begun administering vaccines.

She noted last week’s WHO report stated 280 million doses have been provided, of which 75% were given to 10 countries.

The State Minister added 150 countries have not received a single dose.

She said however Sri Lanka successfully commenced the vaccination drive in January, despite being scheduled for March, with the donation of 500,000 doses.

State Minister Fernandopulle said latest scientific research shows that administering the second dose in 12 weeks is highly effective adding that accordingly administering the second dose in Sri Lanka has been delayed by 10-12 weeks and all 500,000 doses received have been administered to the community.

She noted the WHO is due to provide 25% of vaccines to Sri Lanka through the COVAX facility.

The State Minister said the National Medicines Regulatory Authority has also commenced registering Russia’s Sputnik vaccine and China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

She added that the registration process is due to be completed within 2-3 weeks.