Provide details on COVID-19 vaccine purchase and distribution - UNP | Daily News

Provide details on COVID-19 vaccine purchase and distribution - UNP

The United National Party (UNP) has requested the Government to present to the public details regarding the purchase and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Addressing the media at the UNP headquarters yesterday (6), former Provincial Councillor,Shanthini Kongahage, questioned the Government on the COVID-19 vaccine programme. The Government will be finalizing an agreement to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine through the United Nations-backed COVAX facility on Friday (8). While the Government has already signed the first part of the agreement in December, they have failed to present any details to the public.

As per the requirements of COVAX facility, prior to signing the first phase of the agreement, the Government was required to submit details pertaining to the storage facilities available in the country and the target group. The UNP asks that the Government present these details to the public.

Does the country have adequate storage facilities, and if so where are they? Who are the immediate target groups that will be eligible for the first doses of the vaccine?

Under the existing COVAX facility, the country will be eligible for only a limited number of doses. We ask that the Government states exactly how many doses they will be expecting to receive under this agreement. We also urge the Government to present their plan on the distribution of the vaccine, who will be given priority and when they will be planning to begin the vaccination programme.

Currently, there are potential vaccines available from the U.K, the United States of America, China and Russia. Has the Government identified a manufacturer from whom they will purchase the vaccine? If so, what is the cost of the vaccine and how does it compare to its competitors?

In December the Government announced that they were seeking a Rs.10 billion loan from the World Bank to purchase the vaccine, there were also discussions with the Asian Development Bank for further loans for this matter.