Sri Lanka has received all vaccines required for the COVID-19 immunisation program, including vaccines needed for the booster dose.
According to State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, the country today received the last shipment of required vaccines. In total, the country has received 26 million doses of Sinopharm, 18 million doses of Pfizer, 2,865,424 doses of AstraZeneca, 1.5 million doses of Moderna, and 195,000 doses of Sputnik V.
Of this, 6.8 million doses were received as donations from China, Japan, USA and India as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The cost to us per vaccine dose ranged from $ 5 to $ 7.50,” Dr. Gunasena said. He added that the total cost of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines was paid with a World Bank loan, while the Asian Development Bank covered the full cost of the Sinopharm vaccines purchased.
“We entered into an agreement with both these banks to make sure there is no corruption and bribery in the procurement process.” According to Dr. Gunasena, both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank inspected the procurement process carefully and audited all payments. “They authorised full payment of our vaccine expenditure only after they were fully satisfied,” he added.
The SPC Chairman made these remarks on his personal Facebook page, saying the SPC was given the responsibility of importing COVID-19 vaccines on 18 January 2021. According to Dr. Gunasena, “the problem before us was that, at present, many are unwilling to get themselves vaccinated with the vaccines available in the country, citing various reasons. These include adverse side effects like arm pain, gland swellings, and blood clots.”
However, he added that there have been no reports of unusual adverse events of severe side effects related to vaccines from Sri Lanka.