Sputnik V to leave Russia by Monday
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
The Sputnik V’s Russian manufacturers confirmed that the vaccine would be ready by Monday (12) for export, contrary to reports that Sri Lanka was to receive the first 100,000 of the vaccine early next week, General Manager of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), Dinusha Dassanayaka clarified.
Responding to questions, Dassanayaka said, Sri Lanka was currently in the process of preparing the logistics to receive the first 100,000 doses of the first component of the Sputnik V vaccines developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. “After we complete the logistics we can confirm the date when the vaccine would be received”, he said.
Initially, Cabinet approved the purchase of 7 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. Thereafter, Sri Lanka was informed that they were in a position to provide up to 13 million doses of the vaccine. This information too was submitted to Cabinet. Cabinet also approved the additional 6 million doses. “However, the SPC is not in a position to confirm the date of arrival. Only that the vaccine was ready came from the Russian end,” the General Manager said.
Sri Lanka is to receive 200, 000 doses of the vaccine initially comprising 100, 000 doses of the first component and another 100, 000 of the second component. Within 2021, the Russian manufacturers are scheduled to complete sending all 13 million doses of the Sputnik jab.
Fielding questions regarding the Oxford Astra Zenecca vaccine doses that Sri Lanka was to receive, Dassanayaka said, no confirmation had been given until now due to the export ban in India. Everything will depend on it being lifted, he said.
According to foreign reports the two doses of Sputnik Vaccine uses two slightly different versions for the first and second dose which should be administered within 21 days. Foreign Media reports noted that the idea was when two different formulas were used it boosted the immune system and could probably give longer protection from COVID-19.
State Minister for Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Control (PHCECC), Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle when contacted said, that available information on the jab stated, two different types were used. The second was the booster dose for Sputnik V.