Govt. taking steps to register more COVID-19 vaccines

Thursday, 18 March 2021 03:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • SPC in talks with both Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson 
  • State agency also in process to import Sputnik V vaccine 
  • NOCPC says SL expecting 7m consignment of Sputnik V soon 
  • Russian vaccine to be given only to above 30 age group

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) is in talks with both Pfizer Inc. and Johnson and Johnson on registering COVID-19 vaccines developed by them and have informed both organisations of the documents required to complete the process.

At present, only the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines have been approved by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA); and Primary Health Services, Pandemics and COVID Prevention State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle yesterday said representatives of the vaccine developer must submit a request so the vaccine can be registered and the NMRA can approve the vaccine for use in Sri Lanka.

In response to a question on the vaccine supplies the country is expecting, Dr. Fernandopulle said: “We are to receive vaccines ordered from the Serum Institute of India as well as the COVAX facility by the World Health Organization. In addition to this, the SPC is in the process of ordering the Sputnik V vaccines.”

Meanwhile, the National Operations Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak yesterday stated that Sri Lanka was expecting a consignment of 7 million Sputnik V vaccines from Russia soon.

The State Minister went on to say the Government is currently carrying out a program to efficiently procure COVID-19 vaccines and provide them to the public. “At present, the Government has paid attention to receiving the Sputnik V vaccine. The Sputnik vaccine is not recommended for the elderly and persons with chronic illness so we can use this vaccine for persons over 30,” she said.

While the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a single-shot vaccine, it was only 66% effective in the global trial.