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Rs. 29.24bn spent on vaccines so far, additional Rs 36.19bn to be spent in future

The Government has spent a sum of Rs 29.24 billion to date on procuring anti Covid-19 vaccines and it intends to spend a further Rs 36.19 billion on additional doses, inclusive of booster doses if considered by relevant officials, State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena detailed.

He made these revelations while participating in the Ada Derana 24 Hyde Park programme recently.

Accordingly, the Government will spend a total sum of Rs 65 billion on vaccines, compared to the budget of Rs 58 billion allocated initially. Dr Gunasena went on to say that finding such funds to bridge the additional Rs 7 billion required would be a challenge.

Taking pride in the fact that the SPC has gained accreditation by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) based on adhering to procurement guidelines, counter corruption and anti-bribery guidelines, Dr Gunasena confirmed that the vaccines acquired for 2021 have already been settled by the ADB, and if anything was to be of concern, it would have to be the vaccine budget for 2022. He also clarified that the Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines have already been settled for by the ADB.

Agreeing to comments on how Sri Lanka must honour liabilities to the banks, Dr Gunasena stated that exceeding the budget would mean a burden to the economy and therefore, the Government must come up with a plan to counter such an issue.