WHO in talks with Sri Lanka to provide vaccines for 27% of population

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is in talks with Sri Lanka to provide vaccines to cover 27 % of the population.

Sri Lanka was earlier set to receive vaccines from the WHO to cover 20 % of the total population.

However, the WHO is now considering increasing it to cover 27 % of the population in Sri Lanka.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said the Presidential Task Force to oversee COVID-19 vaccinations headed by President Rajapaksa’s senior advisor, Lalith Weeratunga is engaged in talks with the WHO.

He said the WHO representatives have commended Sri Lanka for its successful vaccination programme and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine conducted thus far.

As a result, the representatives have verbally informed the Sri Lankan experts that they are looking at the possibility of increasing the vaccination doses to 27% of the population of Sri Lanka, from the 20% promised earlier.

General Shavendra Silva said the primary batch of the vaccine to be received via the WHO’s COVAX facility is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka by the first or second week of March.

Stating that priority groups from among the public have already been categorized, the Army Commander further said experts have also identified the most high -risk groups among the public that are highly prone to getting infected.

Commenting on the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines received thus far, General Silva said among the 18 million doses requested, all preparations and payments have been settled to receive 9 million vaccines.

Stating that Sri Lanka has already received 250,000 doses, he said another 500,000 doses will be received over the next seven days.

The Head of the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 said Sri Lanka currently possesses the capacity to vaccinate 09 million people.

Army Commander, General Shavendra Silva said measures are being taken in this regard, and they hope to commence the vaccination process of the public within the next few weeks. (Colombo Gazette)