Second batch of 727,380 doses of AstraZeneca arrive in Sri Lanka

The second batch of 727,380 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Sri Lanka from Japan today (Saturday).

This brings to over 1.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine contributed by Japan, following the arrival of over 728,000 doses on 31st July.

“With transportation support from UNICEF, the second batch of 727,380 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX provided by Japan has just arrived in Sri Lanka. UNICEF is happy to have supported logistically the arrival of these vaccines,” the UNICEF office in Sri Lanka said.

The Government of Japan’s donation is an important response to calls for dose-sharing through the COVAX Facility as an immediate measure to address shortages in vaccine supply.

COVAX, the vaccine initiative, is the only global mechanism that distributes vaccines rapidly and equitably with the mission to help end the acute phase of the pandemic as quickly as possible.

COVAX is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO); GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; and, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) with UNICEF leading on logistics. COVAX receives important bilateral contributions from donors who have been consistent supporters of the UN more broadly; and, the Facility also has important alliances with member countries, multilateral institutions, foundations, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

The AstraZeneca vaccines are a significant contribution to Sri Lanka’s vaccination drive. The vaccine roll-out combined with public health and social measures reflects the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to slow down the pandemic and put the country on track for a robust recovery. (Colombo Gazette)