Sri Lanka may get first batch of Sputnik V vaccine as a gift

Sri Lanka may get the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia as a gift, a Government official said.

Senior Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunga said that Russia’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka had spoken to him and discussed the possibility of obtaining the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine as a gift.

Weeratunga said that since Sputnik V has been approved by the National Medicinal National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) the first batch is expected to be secured soon.

The vaccine, manufactured by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, is the second vaccine approved for emergency use in Sri Lanka after the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Weeratunga said that countries like India, Russia and China are close friends of Sri Lanka.

As a result, he said that like India even Russia wants to try and gift the first batch of Covid vaccines.

He said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had written to Russian President Vladimir Putin seeking assistance to obtain vaccines from Russia.

Weeratunga said that vaccines are also expected from China but it needs to first be approved by the NMRA.

He said the Government is not prepared to take any risk with the vaccines as it is used on humans. (Colombo Gazette)