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Vaccines from Serum Institute not forthcoming: Covishield stocks sought from other countries  

  • Talks underway with agents from S. Korea, Norway, US  

  • No research on mix match: Dr. Sudarshini  

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa  

 

The Government is currently attempting to secure around 600,000 doses of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca “Covishield” Covid-19 vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), for the second dose of the local vaccination drive from countries that have additional stocks of the same vaccine, The Sunday Morning learnt.  

According to the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and Covid-19 Disease Control Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the Government is having discussions with the agents from South Korea, Norway, the US, and several others that have additional stocks of the same.  

“We are discussing with the agents of those countries and will be able to secure the local requirement for the second vaccine dose, as the SII will not be able to supply the demand as promised by them earlier, due to the ongoing situation in their country,” she told The Sunday Morning.  

When queried about the mix and match of vaccines, Dr. Fernandopulle noted that there were no research results available at present regarding such.  

Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of 600,000 doses of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine to complete the second round of the vaccine programme. Under the first round, 925,242 persons were vaccinated, and at present, there is a shortage of 600,000 doses, as Sri Lanka has so far not received the stock of vaccines ordered from India.  

Meanwhile, the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) General Manager K.M.D.R. Dassanayake said that there was no response from the SII as of yet, and that therefore, they are currently conducting discussions with other agents in order to secure the local requirement of the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine doses.