The Policy Decision on vaccination of citizens with the Sinopharm vaccine obtained from China for emergency use, according to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, will be made only after the World Health Organization (WHO) approves it.
With the approval of the Advisory Committee on Infectious Diseases and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority, the Sinopharm vaccine is planned to be used in Sri Lanka, according to the Minister. The relevant expert committees will determine which community of people in the country will be targeted for the vaccine after it receives WHO approval, according to the Minister.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated this in parliament today in response to a question raised by the Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa under Standing Order (27/2).
Speaking further Minister Wanniarachchi said the National Medicines Regulatory Authority and the Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee will decide on the safety of this vaccine after studying the relevant data.
The Minister said that no action will be taken to provide the vaccine to the public until the safety of the vaccine is ensured and so far it has been given only to Chinese nationals.
The vaccine, which was donated by the Chinese government, has a shelf life up to 2023 and will be available for use during that time, the Minister said. The Minister said that there would be no cost for the stock of vaccines other than the cost of maintaining the cold storage.