Kamanthi Wickramasinghe in an op-ed for Daily Mirror said senior medical practitioners both in the government and private sectors have expressed concerns over the use of the Chinese vaccine.
This comes after a consignment of Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines given by Beijing reached Colombo on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) in a statement said that an independent panel of experts was appointed by the country’s National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to review all submissions related to candidate vaccines.
“We are also aware that in their report dated March 17, 2021, that the panel concluded that there is insufficient data provided to make a determination on the safety, efficacy and immunogenicity of the Sinopharm vaccine. This observation was made after reviewing all data made available by the manufacturer of the vaccine. It was accordingly concluded that the Sinopharm vaccine should not be used in Sri Lanka under the present circumstances,” the statement read.
Earlier, Dr Pathirana said the World Health Organization (WHO) and NMRA have not yet approved the use of the vaccine.
The vaccine has been evaluated by the regulatory authority based on the information it has received so far, the Minister said while adding that there is a delay in evaluating the Phase 4 clinical trial results, Colombo Page reported.
“Phase 4 clinical trial results are not available in the English language and that is why the WHO has not given its recommendation to use the vaccine universally. The moment we get the approval we can use it on Sri Lankans as well,” Pathirana had said.