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Lanka looking at sources outside India to purchase AstraZeneca vaccine due to supply delay

Sri Lanka is looking at sources aside from India to purchase the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in view of delay in securing the vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, well being authorities stated on Saturday.

“The supply is being delayed from India. We have to understand that India has to look after their own country before supplying to us. It is not that they have told no to us,” Gen Shavendra Silva, the chief of the COVID prevention operations informed reporters. Silva stated that presidential advisor Lalith Weeratunga was looking at different nation sources to purchase the coronavirus vaccines.

Sri Lanka was left with solely 300,000 jabs of India-manufactured Covishield when it began rolling out the second jab. Sri Lanka started administering the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday after assurances from Pune-based Serum Institute that it might ship extra consignments of the vaccine quickly.

Sri Lanka had began its COVID-19 vaccination programme in late January, after receiving 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India as a “gift”. Subsequently, Sri Lanka positioned orders with Serum Institute for extra doses of the Covishield vaccine.

However, the inoculation programme was affected because the AstraZeneca vaccine producer, Serum Institute of India, suspended vaccine supply, due to a spike within the variety of coronavirus instances in India. The Pune-based vaccine main has entered right into a collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine.

Sri Lanka’s well being officers stated that COVAX facility, a world initiative to guarantee fast and equitable entry to COVID-19 vaccines for all international locations, no matter earnings stage, too has been hampered due to delays from the Serum Institute.

Chief epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera stated Sri Lanka can also be contemplating a mix-and-match strategy to the second dose roll out. “Experiments are under way in other countries and if there are positive results, we can give another vaccine as the second shot,” Samaraweera stated.

From January 29 to April 30, round 925,242 individuals had been given the primary jab of Covishied. China has donated 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines to Sri Lanka. However neither the native well being regulators or the WHO have accepted its emergency use and the vaccine was administered on 2,865 Chinese employees employed within the nation.

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