Jan 18, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine rollout by February end or early March Featured

The government will start the Covid19 vaccine rollout by the last week of February or early March, an official said yesterday.

Principal Advisor to the president Lalith Weeratunga told Daily Mirror yesterday bilateral discussions are underway to obtain the jabs from India, China and Russia at the moment.the World Health Organization (WHO) will donate free of charge vaccine doses required for 20 percent of the population.the Health Ministry is required to submit the national programme in this regard to the WHO before tonight.

“We don’t know what vaccine the WHO will provide us free of charge,” he said.

Mr. Weeratnunga said the national vaccine rollout in India would be an experience for Sri Lanka. Commenting on the Chinese vaccines, he said the countries such as Indonesia had started inoculation of their people with them. He noted Sri Lanka would endorse vaccines once approved by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA). Earlier, State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana said India had agreed to donate a consignment of vaccines by the end of this month. India is the manufacturer of the Oxford/ Astrazeneca vaccine. Besides, China has devolved two Covid-19 vaccines – Sinopharm and Sinovac. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy told Daily Mirror yesterday China would respond positively to Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s request very soon.