Apr 08, Colombo: Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated in Parliament that the Policy Decision on vaccination of people with the Sinopharm vaccine received from China for emergency use will be taken only after the World Health Organization (WHO) approves it.
The Minister said the Sinopharm vaccine is expected to be used in Sri Lanka with the approval of the Advisory Committee on Infectious Diseases and the National Medicines Regulatory Authority. After receiving WHO approval, the relevant expert committees will decide which group of people in the country will be targeted to receive it, the Minister added.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated this in parliament today in response to a question raised by the Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa under Standing Order (27/2).
Speaking further Minister Wanniarachchi said the National Medicines Regulatory Authority and the Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee will decide on the safety of this vaccine after studying the relevant data.
The Minister said that no action will be taken to provide the vaccine to the public until the safety of the vaccine is ensured and so far it has been given only to Chinese nationals.
The vaccine, which was donated by the Chinese government, has a shelf life up to 2023 and will be available for use during that time, the Minister said. The Minister said that there would be no cost for the stock of vaccines other than the cost of maintaining the cold storage.