Sinovac the Chinese-made Covid vaccine approval for use in Sri Lanka has been delayed due to the lack of scientific data on the effectiveness of against the rapidly spreading Delta variant National Drug Regulatory Authority sources said to Lankasara. The experts representing the vaccine evaluation committee have been influenced by top rankers to work immediately to approve the vaccine even without required data a reliable source revealed further.
The drug, manufactured by Sinovac-Biotech, a company headquartered in Beijing, China, has been approved by the World Health Organization, but research has shown that its efficacy against the Covid virus is 50.6%.
Meanwhile, the vaccine has caused a great deal of controversy in Indonesia, with 131 health workers dying from Covid infection, including 20 Indonesian doctors who received both doses of the Sinovac vaccine.
However, the vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization and is being inoculated in some countries. However, a panel of experts appointed by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to evaluate the effectiveness of the vaccine in the face of the rapidly spreading Delta variant has requested data from the manufacturer and the company’s local agent before approving the vaccine. It is reported that there is not enough scientific data related to it yet.
In the backdrop such experts have not taken action to approve the vaccine, two high-ranking officials involved in the process are pressuring the committee to take steps to approve the vaccine as soon as possible.
Experts are of the opinion that there is no need to import a vaccine that does not have scientific data on the effectiveness of the new vaccine, as a significant number of vaccines are currently available in the country and are yet to arrive.
Sri Lanka has so far received nearly 7 million doses of Covshield (AstraZeneca), Cyanoform, Sputnik, Pfizer, another 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca from Japan on the 14th and another 264,000 doses of 274,000 doses through the COVAX facility. The vaccine is due to arrive.
The local agent of the company has already entered into an agreement to manufacture the Sinovac vaccine locally and accordingly the Government of Sri Lanka has promised to obtain 13 million doses of this vaccine.