President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed that the second stock of 500,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses received as a gift from the Chinese Government, be used in the vaccination drive from today (26).
Accordingly, plans have been made to distribute the vaccines among several districts based on priorities recommended by the health sector.
The SriLankan Airlines flight UL869 carrying 500,000 vaccine doses arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake at 12.05 am today (26). Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong officially handed over the stock of vaccines to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi.
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This second batch of vaccines was donated to Sri Lanka as a result of a discussion between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Chinese Government. The Chinese Ambassador said that plans have been made to deliver another 2 million vaccine doses ordered by the Sri Lankan Government within a month, and to donate a stock of essential medical equipment as well.
Speaking at the event, State Minister Channa Jayasumana said that the Government intends to commence the production of the “Sinovac” vaccine locally within the next two months as a result of the discussions held between Sri Lanka and China.
Ministers Prasanna Ranatunga and Namal Rajapaksa, State Ministers Channa Jayasumana and D.V. Chanaka, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Secretary to the Ministry of Health Retired Major General Sanjeewa Munasinghe, State Pharmaceutical Corporation Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena and others were also present.