By Easwaran Rutnam
Sri Lanka is in talks with Pfizer and AstraZeneca to obtain the coronavirus vaccine after a private company facilitated the talks and offered to handle the logistical arrangements.
Hemas Pharmaceuticals, the agent for Pfizer and AstraZeneca in Sri Lanka, said that it has established contacts between Pfizer and the Ministry of Health to secure the vaccine for Sri Lanka.
Managing Director of Hemas Pharmaceuticals Jude Fernando told Daily Mirror that his company has facilitated talks between Pfizer and AstraZeneca and the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka.
Fernando said that a proposal has also been submitted to the government on the best possible way to arrange the supply the vaccine.
“Pfizer is the frontrunner so we gave a proposal to the government to consider to get the vaccine. On our side we are ready to manage the logistics,” he said.
Fernando said that the Government will now decide which company it wants to further negotiate with, be it Pfizer, AstraZeneca or any other company.
“There is a procedure to follow. An agreement will need to be signed and once that is signed the rest of the information will be shared between both parties and other factors will then be looked into,” he said.
Among the matters both sides will need to discuss and reach an agreement on is the price for the vaccine, quantity required and date for supply.
As the private sector has not been authorized to import the vaccine to Sri Lanka Hemas says it cannot import the vaccine on its own.
If all goes well Hemas is confident it will be able to supply the virus to Sri Lanka during the second quarter or third quarter of next year.
In addition, Sri Lanka has had talks with Russia and China and the World Health Organization to obtain a vaccine for the coronavirus. (Courtesy Daily Mirror)