Government to use different vaccines in specific areas of the country


COLOMBO – The government expects to use the Russian made Sputnik V vaccine in a specific area in the country because the second dose should also be from the same vaccine, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said Wednesday (24) morning.

He said the government is expecting to divide the vaccination program among various areas in the country based on the type of vaccine.

“For example, we could use the Sputnik V vaccine only for the Central Province for the two doses for 3.5 million people in the area,” he elaborated.

The Cabinet on Tuesday (23) approved a proposal to purchase seven million doses of the Russian-manufactured Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for US$ 69.65 million.

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) approved the Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use in Sri Lanka on March 4 and, subsequently, based on recommendations by a cabinet-appointed negotiation committee, the ministers approved a proposal to make the purchase.

When questioned about the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, for which approval was granted and withdrawn, Keheliya said they haven’t received legal clearance for it.

“If the vaccine is used on Sri Lankans we need clearance from the WHO and from the other organizations including our Regulatory Authority from which approval should be given,” he said when questioned whether the vaccine will only be used to inoculate the Chinese workers in Sri Lanka and not the locals.

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