Sri Lankan Health Authorities Start Administering Sinopharm Vaccine

Sri Lankan municipal workers wait as they prepare to cremate a body of a COVID-19 victim at a cemetery in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Sri Lanka on Friday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to stop the system from collapsing.

Sri Lankan health authorities on Saturday began using the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine to inoculate people against COVID-19 as the positive cases surge across the country.

China in March donated 600,000 doses of the vaccine to Sri Lanka. But until Saturday, the vaccine was given only to Chinese citizens living in Sri Lanka. So far, about 2,500 Chinese nationals have been given the both doses of Sinopharm.

Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of 600,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in order to complete the 2nd round of the vaccine program.

Sri Lanka has so far given approval for three vaccines — Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and China’s Sinopharm.

Sri Lanka has so far received 1,264,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and 15,000 doses of Sputnik V.

The number of COVID patients is rapidly rising across the country over the last two weeks.

Sri Lanka’s total number of positive cases reached 121,338 on Saturday with 764 fatalities.

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