Health Ministry says no exact date on when AstraZeneca will arrive

The Health Ministry says there is no exact date on when Sri Lanka will receive AstraZeneca vaccines to be used as the second dose.

The vaccines had been expected this week but the Health Ministry today said that it is now expected in another two weeks.

Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) Director Dr. Ranjith Bathuwanthuduwa told reporters today that there is still no fixed date on when the vaccines will arrive.

However, Bathuwanthuduwa urged the public not to panic saying the second dose will arrive soon.

Japan had decided to provide approximately 1.45 million doses of the AstraZeneca’s vaccine manufactured in Japan to Sri Lanka through the COVAX Facility to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Sri Lanka.

This decision had been taken in response to the request by the Government of Sri Lanka and as a part of Japan’s support for ensuring equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for as many people as possible in the fight against COVID-19.

Sri Lanka began mixing Covid vaccines by administering Pfizer as the second jab on those who got the Covishield AstraZeneca vaccine as the first dose.

The Pfizer vaccine was administered as the second dose on a select group of people in Colombo.

The vaccine was administered on Colombo residents between the ages of 55 to 69, who obtained the AstraZeneca vaccine as the first dose.

However, administering the Pfizer vaccine as the second dose was suspended after Sri Lanka received confirmation it will receive the required doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to use as the second dose later this month. (Colombo Gazette)

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