Posted on 04.12.2021 by Chandana Sirimalwatte in Top News List with 0 Comments
(TopNews) With the decision not to use the Sinopharm vaccine in Lanka, a serious problem has arisen due to the fact that 600,000 vaccines have been imported and distributed to Chinese nationals working on the island.
Speaking in Parliament on April 8, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the vaccine would be given to Lankans after the Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee and the National Medicine Regulatory Authority check the conditions. At present, those recommendations have been given to the government authorities stating that the Sinopharm vaccine should not be used in Lanka.
Medicinal drugs are usually administered to patients after approval and preventive measures, such as injections, are not given without prior approval. Lanka’s health practices have been violated due to the use of the Sinopharm vaccine without the permission of the National Medicine Regulatory Authority, which holds sole authority to regulate import of medicinal drugs, test them for suitability and dispenses them to hospitals.
The vaccine was given to 4,500 Chinese nationals, according to media reports, they are the ones working in Colombo Port City, Hambantota, Kandy and Puttalam. They were vaccinated at Lankan hospitals and by Lankan health staff. Accordingly, senior officials of the Ministry of Health are responsible for dispensing an unapproved drug for human beings, that is, for directing the health service to act outside the law.
Since Chinese working in Sri Lanka are not ‘laboratory rats’, it is a criminal offense to give them an unapproved vaccine. There is also a legal issue with the Ministry of Health storing large quantities of unapproved vaccines.
As the Sri Lankan government is the health sector that must provide health care for foreigners coming to Sri Lanka, the government will also have to take responsibility for the potential risks of vaccinating Chinese nationals. The health authorities have not been able to take any decision regarding the action to be taken regarding this stock of illegal vaccines imported through the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka. A stock of 6 hundred thousand Sinopharm vaccines, brought to Lanka for political gains of Higher most leaders in the country, would cause escalation of a diplomatic crisis.