Colombo, January 12 (Daily Mirror) – The Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines will most likely be airlifted to Sri Lanka as early as next month.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention, Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said that the cold storage facilities were being prepared for the vaccines.
She said that the Oxford-AstraZeneca would be obtained from India.
Sri Lanka had recently shown interest in securing the Covid vaccine from India.
A formal request was conveyed to Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar during his meetings in Colombo last week.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be obtained through the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO will offer the vaccine to cover 20 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population under the COVAX programme.
The Health Ministry has already decided on a priority list of recipients of the coronavirus vaccine which consists of vulnerable groups.
Among the recipients identified are people above 60 years of age, frontline workers and others.
Consultant Epidemiologist at the Health Ministry Dr. Deepa Gamage had said that people above the age of 60, people suffering from serious illnesses, doctors and medical staff and other frontline workers often dealing with coronavirus patients and staff employed at institutions crucial to the economy of the country like the airport have been identified as those who will receive the vaccine in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Deepa Gamage said that the vaccine for 20 percent of the population will be received in two stages.
She said that the first set of recipients will depend on the initial quantity of the Covid vaccine which Sri Lanka will receive.