Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in SL by Feb

Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Sri Lanka by February and citizens could receive the jab by mid or end of next month, a top government official has confirmation.

On Monday, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and Covid-19 Disease Control, Sudarshani Fernandopulle said that Lalith Weeratunga, Principal Adviser to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is currently in discussion with the Indian government to obtain the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Xinhua news agency reported.

Fernandopulle said she was also hopeful that through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization, Sri Lanka may obtain doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as well.

President Rajapaksa has instructed the vaccine to be provided to the prioritized target groups free of charge.

“The prevailing infrastructure is currently being enhanced in order to facilitate the storage of both vaccines,” Fernandopulle said.

The vaccine will be first administered to the frontline healthcare workers, Tri-Forces and Police.

It will followed by senior citizens above the age of 60 years, while vulnerable communities with complications will also receive the jab once the rollout begins, the Minister added.

The island nation has so far reported a total of 48,380 coronavirus cases and 232 deaths.