- 264,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from WHO to arrive
The first supplies of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility, totalling 264,000 doses, are expected on Sunday, with World Health Organization (WHO) stating that the country will receive a total of 1,440,000 AstraZeneca vaccines licensed and manufactured by the Serum Institute of India by May this year. According to the document published by WHO, the first round of allocations consists of 237 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and will be received by 142 participants of the COVAX facility.
“In addition to this first round of allocations, an exceptional distribution of 1.2 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, anticipated for delivery in Q1 2021, was announced in early February,” the document read, adding that these doses are also included in the allocations. However, Sri Lanka is not among the countries receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
State Minister of Primary Healthcare, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle said Sri Lanka is among the countries seeing a drop in COVID-19 cases with the commencement of vaccination.
She added that WHO reports show 75% of the 280 million vaccines administered globally were distributed in 10 countries and that 150 countries have been unable to carry out any vaccination programs.
The comments were made at the Chilaw General Hospital, where a laboratory was recently opened as part of COVID-19 response measures, in addition to the opening of an Obstetrics and Gynaecology Clinic and donations made to the hospital’s Heart Disease Unit.