Apr 04, 2021

China, India respond to COVID-19 vaccine claims Featured

The diplomatic embassies of both India and China have responded to queries with regard to recent claims made on COVID vaccines.

Vaccination roll out details, up to GoSL - China

Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Colombo says that the Sinopharm vaccine is a donation by Chinese people to Sri Lankan people upon the latter's request.

"It's the Sri Lankan government that makes the plan about when, who and how to roll out the vaccination," an embassy spokesperson said.

Noting that the Chinese side is very grateful that Sri Lanka includes the overseas Chinese in its vaccination plan, which will start tomorrow (05), the embassy spokesperson added that it is estimated that around 3,000 - 4,000 Chinese nationals living and working on the island might receive the Sinopharm vaccine, which will only take about 1-2 pc of the 600, 000 doses (enough for 300,000 people) donated by China.

China has administered 133.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across the country as of Friday(2), according to statistics from the National Health Commission of China on Saturday (03). The country's global supply of COVID-19 vaccines also topped 100 million doses (about half of all production) by the end of March, while the vaccine developed by Sinopharm has been used in more than 50 countries and regions around the world.

No export ban on COVID-19 vaccines - India

Meanwhile, responding to media queries regarding supply of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India to Sri Lanka, spokesperson of the Indian High Commission said " I would like to draw your attention to the response given by the Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India in New Delhi on 2 April 2021. He very clearly said that the Government of India has not imposed any export ban on COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, supplies to many countries in various regions of the world have taken place last week also."

Sri Lanka is among 80 countries to which a total of over 64 million doses of COVID 19 vaccines made in India have been supplied, as bilateral gift, through COVAX facility and on commercial orders many of which were placed last year. No country has shared with the world COVID 19 vaccines in such a large quantity while vaccinating its own population, the spokesperson added.

The spokesman's statement also notes :

Arrival of duly approved AstraZeneca COVID 19 vaccines as a gift from India in January this year enabled vaccination against the dreaded pandemic in Sri Lanka begin ahead of earlier plans. As a close friend and neighbour of Sri Lanka, India ensured that the people of Sri Lanka start benefiting from India’s global prowess in vaccine production within days of launch of COVID 19 vaccination in India itself.

More than 1.25 million doses of made-in-India COVISHIELD vaccine have so far been delivered to Sri Lanka. Production of COVID 19 vaccines in India is being ramped up further to meet domestic requirements and global demand.

Supply of COVID 19 vaccines by India under VaccineMaitri embodies India’s abiding commitment to utilize its globally renowned vaccine manufacturing capacities in fighting COVID 19 pandemic for larger global good.