India assures Sri Lanka vaccine manufacturing capacity being enhanced

India has assured Sri Lanka that the vaccine manufacturing capacity in India is being enhanced to meet the emergency global demand of duly approved COVID-19 vaccines.

Responding to media queries on the latest status of supply of made in India COVID-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka, a spokesperson of the Indian High Commission in Colombo said that in line with its commitment to collectively fight COVID-19 pandemic, India has supplied 64.51 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines (as on 09 April 2021) to 85 countries, bilaterally as well as through the COVAX Facility, and also to UN health workers and peacekeepers.

“The latest of these supplies have been delivered as recently as last week to countries in Asia, the Pacific and South America. Three consignments of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured in India, totalling over 1.2 million doses, arrived in Sri Lanka in January, February and March this year – the last one through the COVAX facility. The first of these consignments enabled the launch of COVID vaccination programme in Sri Lanka ahead of the earlier plan,” the Indian High Commission in Colombo said.

The High Commission said India’s vaccine manufacturing capacity – already the largest in the world – is being enhanced to meet the emergency global demand of duly approved COVID-19 vaccines.

“Their ongoing supply is calibrated in view of several factors, which include production and domestic requirement,” the High Commission added.

India says it will continue to be in the forefront of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and will also continue its valuable cooperation with relevant stakeholders.

Sri Lanka commenced the COVID-19 vaccination programme on 29th January.

Over 900,000 people have received the first dose using the AstraZeneca vaccine obtained from the Serum Institute of India.

The Health Ministry was scheduled to administer the second jab from 19th April.

However, there is uncertainty on when and how many people will receive the second jab on time as the Serum Institute of India has suspended the export of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Colombo Gazette)

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