Sri Lanka turns to China, Russia for vaccine help

Sri Lanka began injecting pregnant women with a Chinese coronavirus vaccine on June 9. The South Asian country has been aggressively rolling out China’s Sinopharm jab after receiving two million doses earlier this month.

The island, in the middle of a ferocious third wave of infections, announced last month it was also buying 13 million Sputnik V vaccines from Russia.

The head of Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 response, also the army chief, said that Colombo hopes to vaccinate the entire adult population by early next year.

The country has also asked Japan for 600,000 AstraZeneca jabs so it can offer a second dose to people who received a first shot, the president’s office said.

Elsewhere in the region, Bangladesh has been giving only second doses of the AstraZeneca shot since late April as supplies dwindle.

The health minister said the country wants to buy 50 million doses from China’s Sinopharm and five million Sputnik doses from Russia.


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