500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses arrive from India
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500,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses arrive from India

February 25, 2021   01:40 pm

A consignment of 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines purchased from India have arrived in Sri Lanka this afternoon (February 25), says State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana.

State Pharmaceutical Corporation recently signed an order with Serum Institute of India (SII) for 10 million doses of the vaccine for USD 52.5 million. This agreement was approved by the Attorney General last week.

The vaccines are purchased as a direct procurement from the Serum Institute.

Accordingly, the first batch of vaccines under the purchase agreement was delivered to Sri Lanka today.

In the meantime, Cabinet of Ministers on Monday (February 22) gave the approval to purchase 3.5 million of Covid-19 vaccines from the United Kingdom. The SPC will enter into an agreement with the AstraZeneca PLC for the procurement.

Sri Lanka’s inoculation drive kicked off on 29 January after 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute were donated by India.

They were administered to frontline health workers and members of the Armed forces on priority base. Last week, the vaccination was extended to the general public and parliamentarians. 

Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute. The SII has collaborated with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for making the vaccine.

Meanwhile, World health Organisation (WHO) has assured Sri Lanka that it would provide vaccines for 20 per cent of the local population free of charge.

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