AstraZeneca vaccines expected in Sri Lanka by August

Channa JayasumanaAstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka by August, Parliament was informed today.

State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Professor Channa Jayasumana said that Sri Lanka is expecting a stock of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX Facility in July.

He also said that a request has been made to the United States to provide AstraZeneca vaccines to Sri Lanka.

Professor Channa Jayasumana said that additionally Sri Lanka is also negotiating with a number of others to obtain AstraZeneca vaccines to be used as the second dose.

However, the Minister said that Sri Lanka will not look to purchase vaccines from the black market.

The Minister said he is confident that Sri Lanka will receive adequate stocks by August.

He also said that those who got the first jab can wait for six months for the second dose, based on the latest recommendations made by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Sri Lanka initially received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine free of charge from India and the Government later purchased another 500,000 vaccines.

The Government was in possession of around 350,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to use as the second dose.

Part of the stock in hand was utilized to provide the second jab to frontline healthcare workers, the Military and the Police.

However, the Government is desperately looking for another 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to administer to those who got the fist jab. (Colombo Gazette)