Sri Lanka to receive 1.45 million COVID-19 vaccines from Japan

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Colombo, Jul 13 (PTI) Sri Lanka will receive its biggest donation of COVID-19 vaccines from Japan which will provide 1.45 million country-made AstraZeneca doses through the COVAX facility to help the country combat the coronavirus crisis.

The Japanese embassy here said Japan was responding to a government request which is part of Tokyo’s support to Colombo.

Japan had provided Sri Lanka USD 16.2 million to help it fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The previous biggest donation of 500,000 vaccines to Sri Lanka came from India - the Covishield AstraZeneca vaccines.

Although the country’s vaccination programme was launched with the Indian donation, a subsequent delay by India’s Serum Institute to provide Covishield vaccines posed problems for the local health authorities.

Sri Lanka has so far vaccinated 4.2 million of its nearly 21 million population. Most of it from the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, while of late the Pfizer and the Russian Sputnik V have also been made available.

According to the Chinese embassy, some 7.1 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines have been sent to Sri Lanka.

The state minister of pharmaceutical supplies Channa Jayasumana said 1.5 million doses of Moderna vaccines would also be due shortly under the COVAX programme. PTI CORR MRJ

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