Heated exchange over moves to use Sinopharm on locals

A heated exchange ensued in Parliament today over alleged moves to use the Chinese, Sinopharm vaccine on locals.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa told Parliament that Government does not have sufficient stocks of the AstraZeneca vaccine for the second jab.

He claimed an attempt is being made to use the Sinopharm vaccine on locals despite it not being approved by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).

This resulted in a heated exchange of words between the Government and Opposition.

State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the Government will do what is best for its people.

He said that steps will be taken to ensure the public are vaccinated using the best vaccine.

The Sinopharm vaccine has been cleared only to vaccinate Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka, as part of a controversial deal between Sri Lanka and China.

State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Professor Channa Jayasumana had told the Daily Mirror this week that the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) had informed him that emergency use registration of the vaccine had been waived-off.

As a result, some 600,000 doses of the vaccine to be donated by China will be airlifted to Sri Lanka without emergency use approval. (Colombo Gazette)