Sri Lanka may not use Chinese developed Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Sri Lankan authorities have decided to put China-developed COVID-19 Sinopharm vaccines on hold, and have not yet given approval for their usage, reported Daily Mirror

Feb 24, 2021
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Sri Lankan authorities have decided to put China-developed COVID-19 Sinopharm vaccines on hold, and have not yet given approval for their usage, reported Daily Mirror. The decision was taken as the vaccine manufacturer failed to submit the data required for granting approval. 

The Chinese vaccine has not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials, Cabinet co-spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana was quoted as saying by Daily Mirror. Earlier, China had announced donating 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Sri Lanka.

Pathirana said that the country will use mostly the AstraZeneca vaccine to vaccinate 14 million people in Sri Lanka.

“For the time being, we need to go with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The moment we receive full documentation from the Chinese manufacturer we can consider registering it,” he said.

WHO, too, hasn’t yet given its approval to Sinopharm vaccine, developed by a Chinese state-owned company.  Dr. Ramesh Pathirana informed the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is yet to be approved as a result of which Sri Lanka may not have too many options on vaccine types.

The first phase of vaccines drive is currently underway in the country using the one million doses of Covishield it got from India. 

Pathirana hoped that Sri Lanka will be able to obtain the required number of vaccines to be used as the second dose. He expressed confidence that the government will procure the required doses within three months’ time. 

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