State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena yesterday expressed the hope that the spread COVID-19 pandemic can be arrested by June end.
Dr. Gunasena said that plans have been drawn to completely control the pandemic in the country with the vaccination of the targeted population by the end of December. “The background has already been created to end this menace in the country by December end,” he said. Dr. Gunasena said the country requires only 29 million of vaccine doses to vaccinate the targeted population. Arrangements have been made to bring in 32 million doses of vaccines to inoculate the entire population above 20 years by December 31. He was speaking at a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID Control held under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
This stock includes 14 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, 13 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V and 5 million doses of the US/German Pfizer vaccine.
“If we receive the entire stock by December, the country will have 3 million doses above the requirement,” he added. Dr. Gunasena added that one million people have already been vaccinated. “A large segment of the population can be vaccinated with the receipt of three million Sinopharm vaccine doses and one million Sputnik V doses by next month.”
He added that the spread of COVID-19 can be controlled effectively by end June and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has created an environment for the vaccination of all the eligible people by end of this year.
He said the country can be opened systematically based on the success of the vaccination programme.
Vaccination is not yet recommended in Sri Lanka for those below 18 and pregnant women, but the health sector is watching the developments in this regard in other countries. Several countries including the US have already approved COVID-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds following successful clinical trials.