Colombo: The National Medicines Regulatory Authority of Sri Lanka has approved the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the island nation. In view of this, all COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) can now be used in Sri Lanka, Channa Jayasumana, the state’s Minister for Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, said on Friday.

So far, Sri Lanka has delivered more than 4 million first doses of coronavirus vaccines across the country, most of whom have received SinoPharma vaccines. According to a Health Promotion Bureau (HPB) statement, 36 per cent of the population over the age of 30 in Sri Lanka have been given at least one dose of the Kovid-19 vaccine. HPB Director Ranjit Batuvanthudawa said this on Thursday.

Batuvanthudawa said that in the capital Colombo, which is worst-hit by the virus, 70 per cent of the target population has received the first dose of the vaccine, while 25 per cent have received both doses.

Sri Lanka is currently under a third wave of the pandemic, with officials warning of a further spread of the delta variant. The country has so far recorded 282,060 confirmed coronavirus cases, while 3,702 deaths have been reported.

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