In a big blow for China, Sri Lanka has put the Chinese Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine on hold and will now use India-made Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to inoculate 14 million people.
Cabinet co-spokesman, Dr Ramesh Pathirana told Daily Mirror that the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm has not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials.He further said that a complete dossier related to the registration of the Chinese vaccine has also not yet been received.
Sri Lanka to rely on India-made AstraZeneca vaccine
Sri Lanka will depend mostly on the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, he added.
“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,” Daily Mirror quoted Pathirana as saying.
As the Russian vaccine, Sputnik V is yet to be approved Sri Lanka is compelled to depend on AstraZeneca to inoculate all 14 million people.
The Sri Lankan cabinet had approved the purchase of 10 million doses of ‘Made in India’ AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from the SII for USD 52.5 million.
Sri Lanka is not the only country that has expressed its concerns over the lack of information on Chinese-made vaccines.
No takers for China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccineWith no takers for Sinovac, China is putting pressure on nations to buy its vaccine.
Leaked documents of correspondence between Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu show that Beijing had put pressure on the Himalayan country to accept its vaccine without its efficiency and efficacy being established.
Nepal had also sent a letter to the Chinese Embassy in Nepal saying that the company supplying the vaccine had not provided the required documents.
According to a Brazilian government statement, the Sinovac vaccine was found to be far less effective than vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna and as per reports, its efficacy was also found to be 50.38 per cent in Brazil's late-stage trials.