Amid supply constraint, Nepal, Sri Lanka struggle to continue vaccination

Nepal and Sri Lanka both are struggling to continue their vaccination drives amid uncertainty over the timely delivery of pre-ordered vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII)

Apr 03, 2021
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Nepal and Sri Lanka both are struggling to continue their vaccination drives amid uncertainty over the timely delivery of pre-ordered vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII). This came after India started prioritizing its domestic need over the export of vaccines. 

Nepal had earlier ordered two million doses of Covishield, of which it had already received one million doses from the SII. The remaining one million was expected to be delivered by 2 April. The Indian manufacturer, however, failed to supply it so far. 

Also, according to a report in the Kathmandu Post, the company, so far, has not given assurance regarding the remaining doses. 

“There is no news yet whether they will be sending the remaining doses. Had there been any plans to supply the remaining doses of vaccine, they would have written to us two or three days in advance,” an official of Nepal’s health ministry was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

Sri Lanka, India’s southern neighbor, is also facing similar issues. Despite repeated letters from the authorities in Sri Lanka, the SII failed to give any assurance on the delivery of vaccines. 

Earlier this week, the Sri Lankan authorities had to briefly pause their vaccination drive to evaluate their strategy. However, on Friday, the authorities decided to resume the drive.

On Friday, Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson of the Indian External Affairs Ministry, said, “India hasn’t enforced any restrictions on exports of COVID-19 vaccines.” He further said that India would export vaccines taking into account the domestic demand.

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