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Channa Jayasumana explains delay in setting up vaccine filling plant

The prospect of setting up a COVID-19 vaccine filling plant in Sri Lanka in collaboration with China has been in discussion, whereas there was a delay in getting the project launched. Accordingly, Prof. Channa Jayasumana, State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals explained the reason as to why such a delay had occurred.

Prof. Jayasumana stated that receiving the accreditation to build the vaccine plant from the World Health Organization (WHO) takes time, further confirming that the documentation for application has already been submitted. He said that a representative was due to arrive in Sri Lanka for evaluation, but due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, an online review is being processed currently.

Furthermore, he clarified that with over 50% of the Sri Lankan population being already vaccinated, the need for such a plant has been questioned. However, he went on to say that if there was a possibility for the export of vaccines, the proposal for a vaccine plant would materialise.

Initial discussions were for the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac vaccine to be produced in Sri Lanka, but Prof. Jayasumana stated that the Chinese authorities have confirmed permission for the Sinopharm vaccine to be produced in Sri Lanka as well.