According to the Sunday Times, Sri Lanka will not receive the expected dose of COVISHIELD vaccine from the Serum Institute of India in mid-March and April as expected.
In a surprise letter sent to the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) on March 3, SERAM said that the production of the vaccine did not go as planned, which could affect the supply of the vaccine in the future.
Sri Lanka has paid about US $ 5.25 million for a dose of 1.5 million, of which 500,000 was obtained for the community vaccination program in the last week of February and the remaining one million is expected to be delivered to Sri Lanka in mid-March and April.
According to a letter signed by the CEO of Saram and sent to SPC Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, said that “We began expanding our manufacturing facilities to meet these additional supply obligations. Sadly, a fire in one of our buildings disrupted our monthly production output. ”
“Under these circumstances you cannot guarantee supply in the expected months.”
Sri Lanka expects to order around 10 million doses of COVISHIELD vaccine from Seram.
The letter, addressed to SPC, was received Wednesday, and on Thursday, Saram CEO Adar C. Poonawalla and Lalith Weeratunga, Head of the Sri Lanka Vaccine Task Force, both attended an extensive discussion organized by the World Bank, and Weeratunga expressed concern about its potential. The discussion was on ‘How to ensure a fair, comprehensive and expeditious approach to safe vaccination for all people in South Asia’.
Meanwhile, 264,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to be received this weekend from COVAX, a global vaccination program.
This week, the NMRA approved the vaccine for emergency use on Friday after an independent expert committee advising the National Drug Regulatory Authority on Vaccines (NMRA) studied the documentation and data on the Sputnik vaccine in Russia. But the World Health Organization has not yet provided a list of emergency uses for Sputnik v. Currently, only Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are approved by the World Health Organization.
However, the priority list for vaccines was compiled by the highest technical committee (NACCD). It’s in the trash now.