By Easwaran Rutnam
Some people have shown reluctance to obtain the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine as it may hamper their plans to travel to certain countries.
A number of people who contacted Daily Mirror over the past few days were concerned the impact taking the Sinopharm vaccine will have on their chances of overseas travel.
The Government is currently administering the Sinopharm vaccine on a large number of people, especially those in the Western Province.
Over 3 million people have so far been administered with the Sinopharm vaccine in Sri Lanka of which over 1 million have got the second dose.
While Sri Lanka, which kicked off the vaccine rollout with the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine, has acquired the Pfizer vaccine and is also expecting the Moderna vaccine this week, individuals do not have a choice to select which vaccine they can get.
As a result, some people looking to travel overseas for work and other reasons, raised concerns that obtaining the Sinopharm vaccine will result in them being unable to travel to certain countries in the immediate future or will be required to be quarantined on entry.
However, the Government says its priority is to save lives and prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.
When contacted by Daily Mirror, State Minister of COVID19 control, Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said that the priority of the Government is to prevent deaths and the transmission of the virus.
Canada and Germany are among the countries that do not recognize the Sinopharm vaccine.
According to the Canadian Government, travelers who have been administered with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna vaccine, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine – single dose, can enter the country and be exempted from quarantine.
Germany also does not recognise all existing Coronavirus vaccines as proof of immunity against the disease.
Germany recognizes Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.
Sinopharm has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.