Mar 21, 2021

NMRA approval for Sinopharm vaccine, not for locals?

The NMRA approval granted for the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine is for administering vaccines for Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka and not for locals.

The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has granted approval for the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine to be used not for locals but for Chinese nationals residing in Sri Lanka, English weekly 'The Morning' says.

"The National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) has not yet granted approval for emergency use of the Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to be administered to Sri Lankans. However, it has approved the acceptance of a donation of the same from the Chinese Government to be administered to Chinese nationals residing in Sri Lanka," the newspaper says.

'Also, this approval is only for the acceptance of a donation of Sinopharm vaccines,' it adds.

The newspaper further reports :

“There was a request for the Sinopharm vaccine since there was a donation of the vaccines pending, and there was a request regarding the possibility of administering this stock to the Chinese nationals residing in Sri Lanka. The NMRA, after deliberations, decided to approve the acceptance of the donation and to explore the possibility of administering it to the Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka,” NMRA sources said.

Sources at the NMRA explained that while several meetings on the Chinese vaccine were held on Friday (19), no final decision was made to grant approval for the import or emergency use of the vaccine for locals.

As for the granting of approval for the official importation of the Chinese vaccine, it would take place only after the technical committee conducts the required evaluation process, The Sunday Morning was informed.

This comes despite State Minister for the Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana recently stating that the NMRA had granted approval to use the Sinopharm vaccine in Sri Lanka.

(Excerpts : Sunday Morning)