The Sinopharm vaccine from China has not yet been cleared for use on Sri Lankans.
Cabinet co-spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that 600,000 doses of the vaccine will arrive in Sri Lanka from China tomorrow.
However, he said the vaccine has not yet been approved to be administered on Sri Lankans.
Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said the Government is awaiting approval from the World Health Organization (WHO) to use the Sinopharm vaccine on Sri Lankans.
As a result, he said the vaccines will initially be administered only on Chinese nationals based in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the World Health Organization and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) have not approved the use of the vaccine.
The Minister said that the vaccine has been evaluated by the NMRA based on the information it has received so far.
However, he said that there is a delay in evaluating the Phase 4 clinical trial results.
“Phase 4 clinical trial results are not available in the English language and that is why the WHO has not given its recommendation to use the vaccine universally. The moment we get the approval we can use it on Sri Lankans as well,” he said.
Dr. Ramesh Pathirana believes it is only a matter of time before clearance is obtained from the WHO. (Colombo Gazette)