Govt mulls private sector Covid-19 vaccination | Sunday Observer

Govt mulls private sector Covid-19 vaccination

28 March, 2021

The Government will explore the possibility of permitting the private sector to get involved in the Covid-19 vaccination process, said Advisor to the President, Lalith Weeratunge.

He said that private hospitals will have to negotiate and import the vaccines directly from the global manufacturers themselves. “The Health Department will definitely not get involved in the ‘buying and selling processes’ of Covid-19 vaccines.”

Weeratunge said that the Government would most likely permit this by mid-2021.

He said that private sector companies or hospitals who hope to get involved in this process will have to first get prior approval from the Medical Council, Health Ministry and other relevant institutions on the brand, importation and inoculation process.

He also said that the Government is keeping a close tab on the current vaccination process to ensure its high quality and random tests are carried out regularly before they are released to the public.

He also said that it was unfortunate that some of the Colombo ‘elite’ class still prefer not to get vaccinated as they are not keen to go to the designated places stipulated by the Government for reasons best known to them. “The Covid-19 vaccine is not compulsory for all citizens and no person would be vaccinated without his or her consent.” Weeratunge said that the vaccination process began in the Western Province since it was a high-risk area and the inoculation process will commence in other areas soon. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the inoculation process in other areas outside the Western Province will commence when the Government receives the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine from Russia. The Minister said that the Cabinet has approved funds to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine and that it would be possible to provide two doses of it to 3.5 million people.

A spokesman for the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry said that over 1.6 million Covid-19 immunisations have been done to date.