Sri Lanka halts vaccination over delay in supply

The Sri Lankan government has temporarily halted the Covid vaccination drive in the country as the authorities are not sure if they would be able to receive the next doses of supply from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on time, reported Daily Mirror

Apr 02, 2021
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The Sri Lankan government has temporarily halted the Covid vaccination drive in the country as the authorities are not sure if they would be able to receive the next doses of supply from the Serum Institute of India (SII) on time, reported Daily Mirror. 

“The Covid vaccination program was temporarily suspended as there was a delay in securing more AstraZeneca vaccine,” Sudarshani Fernandopulle, the Sri Lankan State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control, was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror. 

The decision came as the government failed to secure assurance of the timely delivery of the vaccines from the SII. So far around 900,000 doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccines have been administered to people. 

Authorities in Sri Lanka decided to preserve the remaining stock for the second round of the drive, scheduled to start from 19 April, where people will be given the second dose of the vaccine. 

The vaccination drive was started in January this year with the vaccines that Sri Lanka had received from India and the WHO’s Covax facility. 

The country also received 600,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines but authorities are yet to take a decision on giving emergency approval to it. The government has already constituted an expert committee to decide whether to use the Chinese vaccine in the country. 

Many experts in the country had earlier voiced concern over the use of the Sinopharm vaccine, saying the company has not provided enough data to evaluate the risks involved in it.
 

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