Sri Lanka assures no issue with stocks after India suspends AstraZeneca exports

Sri Lanka today assured the public that those who obtained the first injection using the AstraZeneca vaccine, will be able to receive the second jab on time, despite India suspending the exporting of AstraZeneca vaccines.

State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Professor Channa Jayasumana said that Sri Lanka will receive 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines ordered from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on time.

He said that, in addition, Sri Lanka has vaccines remaining from the previous stocks.

As a result, he said that there will not be an issue in administering the second jab using AstraZeneca to those who have already obtained the first injection.

India has placed a temporary hold on all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, foreign ministry sources have told the BBC.

They said rising cases meant domestic demand was expected to pick up in the coming weeks, and so the doses were needed for India’s own rollout.

The move – described as a “temporary squeeze” by officials – is expected to affect supplies until the end of April.

Some 190 countries under the Covax scheme are likely to be affected. (Colombo Gazette)