COVID-19 vaccination in Sri Lanka

Last updated

COVID-19 vaccination in Sri Lanka
Date29 January 2021 (2021-01-29) – present
Location Sri Lanka
Cause COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka
Organized by Government of Sri Lanka
Outcome
  • 56.4% of the Sri Lankan population has received at least one dose (as of 28 August 2021)
  • 31.5% of Sri Lankan population has received both doses (as of 28 August 2021)

COVID-19 vaccination in Sri Lanka is an ongoing immunisation campaign against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, in response to the ongoing pandemic in the country. As of late July, the Sinopharm BIBP vaccine accounted for 78% of the total 13.8 million vaccines obtained by Sri Lanka to date. [1] The United States donated over 1.5 million Moderna vaccine through COVAX. [2]

Contents

Background

The Government of Sri Lanka commenced its COVID-19 vaccination program under the COVAX facility with first batch of Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccines arrive in Sri Lanka on 28 January 2021 from the Serum Institute of India. (SII). [3]

Phase one

In the first phase, the government began vaccination of health and front line workers in February 2021.

Phase two

In the second phase, the government began vaccination of persons above the age of 30 in late February 2021 in the Western Province. This was rolled back in early March 2021, to limited to persons above the age of 60. By April, vaccination of persons above the age of 30 has started and extended beyond the Western Province.

Shortages

By April, with a surge in COVID cases in a third wave of infections, Sri Lanka faced a severe shortage of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine due to an export ban by India. This left majority of the 3.5% of the population that was given the first dose without access to the second. [4] Sri Lanka faced an shortage of Sputnik V vaccine due to a spike of cases in Russia resulting in the manufacturer Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, focusing on meeting local demand. [5]

Other vaccine supplies

In March 2021, the Sinopharm BIBP vaccine was approved emergency use. [6] In May, the country ordered 14 million doses on top of 1.1 million doses previously donated. [7] By July, Sri Lanka had received 10.7 million doses of the vaccine. [1] In June, local studies in the country showed vaccination with the Sinopharm BIBP vaccine generated seroconversion and antibody responses in individuals to Delta and Beta variants similar to antibody levels seen following a natural infection [8] [9]

Phase three

With vaccination of persons above 30 years reaching completion, vaccination of those between 18 and 30 years who did not fall under special categories were started in early September 2021. [10]

Proposed vaccine production

On 27 May State Minister for Pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana told reporters Sri Lanka was considering co-production of CoronaVac. It was not clarified if it would handle full production or a fill and finish plant. [11]

Vaccination programme

Vaccines used

Currently, the vaccines approved by government of Sri Lanka for emergency use are:

VaccineApprovalDeployment
Oxford–AstraZeneca Green check.svg YesGreen check.svg Yes [3]
Sinopharm BIBP Green check.svg YesGreen check.svg Yes [12]
Sputnik V Green check.svg YesGreen check.svg Yes [13]
Pfizer–BioNTech Green check.svg YesGreen check.svg Yes
Moderna Green check.svg YesGreen check.svg Yes
Sinovac Green check.svg YesDark Red x.svg No

Vaccine distribution

Vaccine types were deployed on a geographical and group basis:

Special groups
Geographical

Vaccine on order

VaccineType (technology)Doses orderedManufacturerRemarks
Oxford–AstraZeneca Viral vector8,400,000 Flag of India.svg Serum Institute -
Sputnik V Viral vector13,000,000 Flag of Russia.svg R-Pharm -
Pfizer–BioNTech RNA14,900,000 [14] [10] Flag of the United States.svg Pfizer -
Sinopharm BIBP Inactivated virus23,000,000 [15] [16] Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Sinopharm -

Related Research Articles

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References

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