NMRA approves use of Pfizer vaccine in Sri Lanka

The Advisory Board of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has approved the emergency use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in Sri Lanka.

State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle said five million doses of the vaccine will be imported in the near future.

Sri Lanka is in talks with various coronavirus vaccine manufacturers to acquire necessary vaccines, due to a shortage of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine manufactured in India.

The Serum Institute of India has delayed the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the coronavirus outbreak in India.

Pfizer-BioNTech is among the manufacturers with which the Government is engaged in discussions at present.

In March, the Government said talks to purchase coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech have been successful and a final agreement is expected to be reached soon.

The Pfizer vaccine requires storage facilities with minus 70 degrees refrigeration, a facility which the Sri Lanka Government does not have.

However, the matter has been discussed with the manufacturer and the manufacturer has now offered a solution.

The company has stated that it is ready to provide facilities to transport the vaccines to storage facilities while maintaining the minus 70 degrees refrigeration.

Sri Lanka is currently battling with the third wave of the coronavirus, following the emergence of the New Year coronavirus cluster. (Colombo Gazette)