Sri Lanka receives 1st batch Sputnik V shots

Associated Press/ UNB . Colombo | Published: 13:16, May 04,2021


Picture of vials of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine taken as health workers inoculate people over 60 years of age against the novel coronavirus disease at the Faculty of Medicine of the Higher University of San Andres in La Paz on April 27, 2021. — AFP photo

Sri Lanka has received its first batch of the Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine.

The 15,000 doses were flown in early hours of Tuesday to the Indian Ocean island nation which is struggling to obtain Covid-19 vaccines because of the delay in getting them from the neighbouring India.

Sri Lanka has ordered 13 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from the Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.

State minister of pharmaceutical production, supply and regulation Channa Jayasuma, and officials from the Russian embassy were present at the country’s main airport to receive the vaccines.

Jayasumana said he was hopeful that Sri Lanka would receive the total of 13 million doses of the Sputnik V from Russia in the future.

Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in order to complete the second round of the vaccine programme.

Under the first round, 925,242 persons were vaccinated and at present, Sri Lankan health ministry has about 350,000 doses and as a result, there is a shortage of 600,000 doses as the island nation so far did not get its vaccines ordered from India.

The number of COVID patients is rapidly rising across the country over the last week. Sri Lanka’s total number of positive cases have reached 111,753 with 696 fatalities.

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