Colombo, Dec 30 | The World Health Organization (WHO) has assured that a Covid-19 vaccine could be made available for Sri Lanka by March 2021, as health authorities in the island nation have stepped up efforts to improve cold chain requirements for the storage of the doses, an official said here.
A top level meeting took place on Tuesday between government officials and the WHO representatives on cooperation under COVAX, the global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries, the Daily Mirror newspaper said in a report on Wednesday.
The official told Daily Mirror that Sri Lanka was primarily getting ready for a vaccine to be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degrees of Celsius.
“We will be ready even for a vaccine to be stored at minus 20 Celsius,” the official said.
There are several WHO-prequalified vaccine candidates in the world.
The WHO will provide 20 per cent of the vaccine requirement for Sri Lanka free of charge.
Sri Lanka is yet to decide which group of the population will receive the jabs first.
However, the official told the Daily Mirror that the country should not ease restrictions imposed in view of the pandemic despite a vaccine being introduced.
“It is always better to contain transmission because of the possibility of new strains of the virus,” he added.
The island nation has so far reported a total of 42,056 coronavirus cases and 195 deaths.