Government insists no influence on NMRA to approve any vaccine

The Government today insisted that influence or pressure has not been exerted on the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to approve any vaccine.

Speaking to reporters today,  Presidential Advisor Lalith Weeratunga said that the NMRA has been given the freedom to study and approve any vaccine.

The NMRA had granted approval for the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for Covoid-19 in Sri Lanka.

This was the first time the NMRA has approved a COVID-19 vaccine.

Weeratunga said that the NMRA is studying other vaccines as well and will consider approval.

He said that Sri Lanka will accept or purchase vaccines only approved by the NMRA.

Weeratunga also said that private sector will not be allowed to import the coronavirus vaccines.

Some private institutions had offered to import the vaccines as they have the storage facilities.

However, Weeratunga said that, at the moment it has been decided that the private sector will not be allowed to import the vaccine.

He said that private hospitals will also not be allowed to import and sell the vaccines.

Weeratunga also said that there has been a request from the private sector to even purchase the vaccines for the virus from the Government.

He said that some companies want to purchase the vaccine to administer to their employees.

Weeratunga said that the Government has however not agreed to the request.

He said that the Government will take full responsibility for the vaccines.

Weeratunga, who is heading the process to procure the vaccines, said that the intention of the Government is to provide the vaccines free of charge to the public.

He said that the Government will sign indemnity agreements with the suppliers of the vaccines.

As a result, the Government will need to take full responsibility of the vaccines after it arrives in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)