AstraZeneca 2nd doses arrival ‘likely on 29th’
2 years ago
BY Buddhika Samaraweera About one million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka, most likely on 29 July, according to the State Ministry of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals. The State Ministry of Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Secretary Dr. S.K. Ratnayake earlier told The Morning that about one million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine were being manufactured in Japan and are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka this week. When The Morning contacted Dr. Ratnayake to inquire about an exact date on which said amount of Oxford AstraZeneca would arrive in the country, he said that they are likely to arrive on 29 July. When asked if there is any written confirmation in that regard, he noted that he had received such a confirmation. He further said that the amount of vaccines which would arrive in the country is intended to be used to administer the second dose to people who have received the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Given the unavailability of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, the roll out of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to the first batch of people above the age of 55 years in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) area, who received the UK-developed Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as the first dose, began on 7 July 2021. However, the administration of Pfizer vaccines as the second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was halted after one day on 8 July. National Operation Centre for the Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head and Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said that the decision to halt had been taken as a total of 1.4 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka by the third week of this month. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured in India, was the first Covid-19 vaccine administered in Sri Lanka in late January this year. However, since the deadly second wave of the pandemic in India and the Indian Government choosing to retain vaccines for domestic use, the Sri Lankan Government has been struggling to find sufficient vaccines for the second dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. Also, about 600,000 persons who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country have not yet been given its second dose.