State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Prof. Channa Jayasumana said that Cabinet approval has been granted to purchase the Russian Sputnik V vaccine and that negotiations with the Russian producer on the price and the quantity of vaccine to be imported to Sri Lanka is under way.
When these arrangements are finalised, the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) will be ready to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine – one million doses at a time, the State Minister said.
Prof. Jayasumana said, “The Government has sufficient funds and we are financially strong enough to purchase even three to four million doses at once. It depends on their decision”.
He said, “In the world market, each dose of the Sputnik V cost around US$ 10 but we are negotiating to reduce the price further. The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has already granted approval for emergency use of the Sputnik V vaccine”.
“There is a huge demand for the Russian Sputnik V vaccine even from the European countries, Latin America and also from South East Asia. Based on the availability of the vaccine, we are ready to purchase any amount, he said.
Prof. Jayasumana said over 800, 000 people have been vaccinated under the Government’s Covid-19 vaccination program and none of them had any adverse effect,” he also said.
“In earlier days of the vaccination program, there were some unpleasant events reported in the queues with regard to the arrangement procedures.
However, we were able to rectify all those shortcomings within a very short period of time,” he added.
The State Minister said at present the Covid-19 vaccination program is going on very smoothly. “We must thank the local political authority and the local administrative structure who gave us enormous support in organising this vaccination program.”
Senior Advisor to the President and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 Vaccine, Lalith Weeratunga told a recent media briefing that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had called for the Sputnik V vaccine from the Russian President and accordingly, Sri Lanka will receive the first batch of the vaccine as a donation.
Mr. Weeratunga also said that the Sputnik V vaccine will be procured pending the approvals to vaccinate every Sri Lankan citizen and specifically those in the tourism, export and apparel industries who are the driving force behind the country’s economy.