Sri Lanka puts Sinopharm on hold

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Sri Lanka is yet to approve the use of the Sinopharm vaccine as the Chinese authorities have yet to submit the required information to clear its use.

Cabinet co-spokesman Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that the Chinese vaccine has not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials.

He also said that the complete dossier pertaining to the registration of China’s Sinopharm vaccine has also not yet been received.

As a result, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that Sri Lanka will depend mostly on 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.

However, he said that registering the Sinopharm vaccine may take time as the World Health Organisation (WHO) is yet to approve it.

“It is still under review,” he said.

Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that even the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is yet to be approved as a result of which Sri Lanka may be compelled to depend on AstraZeneca to inoculate all 14 million people.

He also said that all the existing vaccines secured by Sri Lanka are being used as the first dose to vaccinate the public and others, including VIPs.

Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said that Sri Lanka is confident it will be able to obtain the required number of vaccines to be used as the second dose.

He insisted that there was no risk of not obtaining the required stocks for the second dose to be given within the space of three months.