The Chinese Sinopharm vaccine will not be used on Sri Lankans until it is approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for emergency use, the Health Ministry said today.
Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi told Parliament that once the Sinopharm vaccine is approved by the WHO it will be used on Sri Lankans with the backing of the Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).
Wanniarachchi said that the safety of the vaccine will be decided by the Committee on Communicable Diseases and the NMRA.
“The vaccine will not be used on the public until its safety is assured,” she said.
She said that a decision will be taken on the groups of people the vaccine will be used on, once it is approved for emergency use.
The Sinopharm vaccine has so far been used only on Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka.
The Health Minister said the shelf life of the vaccine is until 2023.
The vaccination of Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka using the Sinopharm vaccine began on Monday.
The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) began the process to inoculate around 4,000 Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka using the Sinopharm vaccine.
A stock of 600,000 Sinopharm vaccines gifted by China arrived in Sri Lanka last week. (Colombo Gazette)