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Sri Lanka seeks $100 million assistance from IMF for COVID-19 vaccination

An elderly woman receives a dose of Sinopharm vaccine at her home from the Sri Lanka Army mobile vaccination unit against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Colombo, Sri Lanka on September 14, 2021.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

An announcement was made on September 22 saying that Sri Lanka has decided to ask for a $100 million loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to procure 14 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and finance other vaccination programme related costs.

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

The IMF has agreed to grant a supplementary loan of $100 million to assist Sri Lanka's COVID-19 response, it added.

The Minister for Pharmaceuticals, Channa Jayasumana, told Parliament on September 21 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 5,07,330.


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Printable version | Oct 26, 2021 9:38:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-seeks-100-million-assistance-from-imf-for-covid-19-vaccination/article36605131.ece

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