Nov 15, 2020

Pvt. sector to provide Covid-19 vaccines for remaining 80%

Since about 10,000 PCR tests are performed a day, the daily cost of testsexceeds Rs.60 million, reports health sector sources.

Accordingly, it is said that the monthly cost for this is close to Rs. 1.8billion.

However, the Ministry of Health says that the amount of Rs. 1.8 billionspent per month on tests can be reduced by 1/3 to Rs. 600 million by usingRapid Antigen Tests (RAT).

Another advantage of the RAT is that when PCR test takes about 8 to 10hours to get the results, the RAT results can be obtained in 20 minutes.

Covid-19 vaccine

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has estimated that the Covid-19 vaccine,which is to be given to 20% of Sri Lanka's population, will cost Rs. 10billion.

According to Dr. Razia Pence, head of the World Health Organization's (WHO) SriLanka office, the vaccine is expected to be available in May next year.The WHO is involved in providingthis vaccine to 20% of the population of Sri Lanka which amounts to 4 millionpeople.

It is said that the price of a vaccine is US $ 3.20, which will be closeto Rs. 600.

This vaccine should be given in two doses per person.

In addition to the value of the vaccine, the cost includes cylinders, gloves,refrigeration facilities, transportation, and storage facilities.

Once the vaccine is approved by the WHO, it is imported to Sri Lanka with theapproval of the Board of Experts of the National Drug Regulatory Authority.

The first group to receive the vaccine will be health workers, members of thesecurity forces and those who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 infection.

Private sector's role in importing the vaccine

Meanwhile, it is reported that the Ministry of Health is considering involvingthe private sector to import the vaccines in addition to the vaccines providedby WHO.

Research on the vaccine is currently underway in several countries around theworld and it is in its third phase.