A total of 1,600 Chinese nationals yesterday received the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Sri Lanka.
The Embassy of China in Sri Lanka tweeted that vaccination took place in four locations and that no adverse side effects had been reported.
“Remaining 1,000 recipients expected tomorrow. 2,600 = 0.87% of 600k doses stock,” the tweet read.
Questions have been raised about the use of the 600,000 Sinopharm vaccines donated by the Government of China in Sri Lanka as the vaccine has not received approval from the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA).
According to Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals State Minister Channa Jayasumana, a few clarifications are required before NMRA approval is given for the vaccine, after which it can be used on Sri Lankans.
It has also been reported that the removal of seven members of the NMRA Board was due to delays in approving the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that the data submitted by the vaccine manufacturer shows efficacy levels compatible with WHO requirements. On 31 March, WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) Chair Alejandro Cravioto said they hoped to issue recommendations on the vaccine by the end of April.