You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

Lanka looking at sources outside India to purchase AstraZeneca vaccine

This is in view of delay in securing the vaccines from the Serum Institute of India

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests | Coronavirus Vaccine

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

AstraZeneca, pharma, coronavirus, vaccine

Sri Lanka is looking at sources other than India to purchase the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in view of delay in securing the vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, health authorities said 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 told reporters.

Silva said that presidential advisor Lalith Weeratunga was looking at other country sources to buy the vaccines.

Sri Lanka was left with only 300,000 jabs of India-manufactured Covishield when it started rolling out the second jab.

Sri Lanka began administering the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday after assurances from Pune-based Serum Institute that it would send more consignments of the vaccine soon.

Sri Lanka had started 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 placed orders with Serum Institute for more doses of the Covishield vaccine.

However, the inoculation programme was affected as the AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, suspended vaccine supply, due to a spike in the number of cases in India.

The Pune-based vaccine major has entered into a collaboration with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine.

Sri Lanka's health officials said that COVAX facility, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level, too has been hampered due to delays from the Serum Institute.

Chief epidemiologist Sudath Samaraweera said Sri Lanka is also considering a mix-and-match approach 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 said.

From January 29 to April 30, around 925,242 people had been given the first jab of Covishied.

China has donated 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines to Sri Lanka. However neither the local health regulators or the WHO have approved its emergency use and the vaccine was administered on 2,865 Chinese workers employed in the country.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, May 01 2021. 15:23 IST