Vaccination of Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka with the Sinopharm vaccine is set to start from next Monday. This comes after a consignment of Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines given by Beijing reached Colombo on Wednesday, the Colombo Page reported.
Despite this development, vaccination of Sri Lankans with the Chinese vaccine will be done after a study by a committee of experts, the country’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority said.Sri Lanka’s Cabinet co-spokesperson Dr Ramesh Pathirana said the vaccines will initially be administered only to Chinese nationals based in Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror Online reported.
Dr Pathirana said that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) have not yet approved the use of the vaccine.
The vaccine has been evaluated by the regulatory authority based on the information it has received so far, the Minister said while adding that there is a delay in evaluating the Phase 4 clinical trial results.
“Phase 4 clinical trial results are not available in the English language and that is why the WHO has not given its recommendation to use the vaccine universally. The moment we get the approval we can use it on Sri Lankans as well,” Pathirana said.
On Wednesday, Sri Lanka had confirmed two deaths due to COVID -19 raising the death toll from the viral disease to 568.