A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE Covid-19 vaccine | Bloomberg
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Colombo: Sri Lanka has decided to ask for USD 100 million loans from the IMF to procure 14 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and finance other vaccination programme related costs, it was announced here on Wednesday.

Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella had proposed that Sri Lanka obtain the additional loan grant of USD 100 million under the programme of strategic preparation and response to COVID 19,” the government said in a statement.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to grant a supplementary loan of USD 100 million to assist Sri Lanka’s COVID 19 response, it added.

The decision made was to obtain the funds to procure 14 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and also finance other vaccination programme related costs.

The minister for pharmaceuticals Channa Jayasumana told Parliament on Tuesday that the government had already vaccinated over 50% of the island nation’s 21 million population.

Our target is to vaccinate over 75% of the population within the next few months, he said. He added as of September 20, the first dose vaccination had been completed for over 62% of the population.

The public health inspectors said those below the age of 30 had shown reluctance to get vaccinated. Only around 35% of them had received the jabs by September 20.

The younger people seem to believe that the Pfizer vaccine is the most effective…,” Public Health Inspectors (PHI) spokesman Upul Rohana said.

The Pfizer vaccine has been rolled out so far limited to the southern province and a part of the eastern province, health authorities said.

The bulk of the local vaccinations had come from the Chinese Sinopharm with 26 million doses being received so far.

Sri Lanka has recorded 12,284 deaths while the total number of COVID-19 infections stood at 507,330.

Also read: IMF suspends engagement with Afghanistan until clarity on recognition of Taliban govt


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