Sri Lanka has received more than 1.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as a donation from the US under the COVAX Facility, the UNICEF said.
United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, said, “across the world, the United Nations is supporting countries to mobilise the largest global immunisation effort in history. Human innovation and science have succeeded in providing us with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for everyone. Thanks to the generous support of the United States through the COVAX facility to vaccinate Sri Lankans, the UN in Sri Lanka alongside our agencies WHO and UNICEF will continue to work with the Government to stem the spread of COVID-19 and recover from the pandemic.”
Health Minister, Pavithra Wanniarachchi said, “the Government of Sri Lanka would like to commend the United States for taking the lead in sharing these doses with the people of Sri Lanka”.
Sri Lanka is currently rolling out vaccinations against COVID-19 for eligible groups, in line with the National Vaccine Deployment Plan of the Ministry of Health (MOH). Today’s shipment of vaccines is the second from COVAX following the delivery in March of the first batch of 264,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines.
“Fighting COVID-19 is not up to each country alone, as it is afflicting every country. Collaboration among countries to protect lives and mitigate the effects COVID-19 everywhere is absolutely essential, so it is great to see the collaboration between the United States and Sri Lanka in this instance, through the COVAX facility”, said UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative, Christian Skoog. “UNICEF is happy to have supported logistically the arrival of these vaccines”.
WHO Representative to Sri Lanka, Dr Alaka Singh noted that, “COVID-19 has changed global public health in a very fundamental way. This is captured by the solidarity underlining COVAX and, as co-lead, WHO has championed equitable access to vaccines because ‘no one is safe unless everyone is safe’. WHO has also called for dose-sharing as a feasible way to close the immediate supply gap and appreciates this response from the United States. WHO commends Sri Lanka’s vaccination effort as the key response to the pandemic, backed by public health and social measures”.
American Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz in a Tweet said, "On behalf of the American people, I'm proud to announce the arrival of over 1.5 million Moderna vaccines in Sri Lanka. This donation through Covax will save lives and address the urgent health needs of the Sri Lankan people, as well as mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19."