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India’s gift of 5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines to reach Sri Lanka on Thursday

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2021

A health worker shows a vial of Covishield   -  REUTERS

The neighbour may buy additional doses subsequently to meet its needs

India has gifted a consignment containing 5 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India to Sri Lanka that will reach Colombo on January 28, a source has said.

Sri Lanka is the eighth country to receive a gift of vaccines under India’s ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative. Other countries that have received free vaccines from India include Maldives, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Also read: Sri Lanka to procure 2 to 3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from India: Official

“The delivery of the Covid-19 vaccines to Sri Lanka is a fulfilment of PM Narendra Modi’s commitment made to Sri Lankan PM Mahinda Rajapaksa during the Virtual Bilateral Summit held in September 2020 for all possible support to the country for minimising the health and economic impact of the pandemic,” the source said.

Nod for emergency use

Sri Lanka approved emergency use of the vaccine on January 23 and has finalised the priority list of vulnerable groups including healthcare workers and armed personnel, who will be first to receive the vaccine.

India, which started its own Covid-19 vaccination drive on January 16 and has already vaccinated 20 lakh beneficiaries, is also sending shipments to other countries on a commercial basis. Consignments were dispatched to Brazil and Morocco last week with doses of 2 million vaccines each.

Sri Lanka is also expected to purchase additional anti-Covid vaccines from India after it receives its gifted consignment, another person tracking the development said.

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Published on January 27, 2021
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