1.2 million out of 1.4 million Pfizer vaccines destroyed due to expiry – Keheliya
Out of 1.4 million Pfizer vaccines imported to Sri Lanka for the control of Covid-19, only 13% had been used and the remaining 1.2 million vaccines had to be destroyed due to expiry says Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella speaking at a press conference in Kandy.
The Minister has said that the vaccinations were not used due to the spread of the opinion in the society that taking the vaccines without any reason after the spread of Covid-19 has been controlled to a certain extent would calling for in other diseases, and the people have stayed away from taking the vaccines.
Keheliya Rambukwella told the media that after discussions with the World Health Organization regarding the possibility of providing the vaccines to the neighboring friendly countries before the end of the life of the remaining vaccines, three countries offered to receive the vaccines but later refused to receive them due to several issues including storage.
The Minister has said that the stock of vaccines had to be destroyed as there was no other option due to the
expiry of the vaccines. He also said that
according to the audit reports released since 2015, expired drugs are thrown away every year.
Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has further said that it is not possible to completely stop the disposal of medicines and it is necessary to go into a process that minimizes disposal.
With the spread of Covid-19 being controlled to a certain extent, the people stayed away from getting vaccinated due to the spread of opinion in the society that taking the vaccine without any ailment was a risk of inviting other diseases. A hugely false social opinion was created. Among the factors that greatly influenced the creation of that opinion was the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government, where Keheliya Rambukwella was a minister. It engaged in a number of unscientific activities such as popularizing Dammica honey, releasing charmed pots into rivers, etc.