Sri Lanka to commence COVID-19 vaccine drive on Thursday

Sri Lanka to commence COVID-19 vaccine drive on Thursday

January 24, 2021   09:15 am

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Sri Lanka’s coronavirus vaccine drive is scheduled to commence from January 28, after receiving the first stock of vaccines on January 27, says State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply, and Regulation Prof. Channa Jayasumana.

Joining the TV Derana breakfast show ‘Derana Aruna’ this morning (January 24), the State Minister also spoke on the order of priority in which vaccinations will be given.

Jayasumana said, “All 500,000 of these vaccines are donated. There is no cost for that. This vaccine is mostly useful for people over 18 years of age. The population of people above 18 years in our country is nearly two-thirds of the total population. That is how we got a target of 65%”.

According to the State Minister, the vaccine will be first given to frontline healthcare workers followed by tri-forces and police personnel.

Subsequently, adults over the age of 60 years with non-communicable diseases will be given the priority next, he added.

“Under no circumstances will it be allowed to go out of the set sequence. There is no opportunity to jump the queue for money or power and get vaccinated.”

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) yesterday granted approval for the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka will accordingly receive 500,000 vials of doses with the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from India on January 27.

Serum Institute of India – the world’s largest drugmaker – has been authorized to locally produce Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. India recently began supplying vaccines to six neighboring and key partner countries.

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