COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The: Sri Lankan government on Friday announced that it has received 50,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine.
Sri Lanka is facing a severe shortage of COVID-19 vaccines because the manufacturer of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in India did not supply promised stock due to the domestic coronavirus emergency. Sri Lanka had arrangements to buy 13.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The 50,000 doses of Sputnik V that were flown into Sri Lanka late Thursday are the second batch of the vaccine to be given to the Indian Ocean island nation, the government said. Another 15,000 doses arrived earlier this month.
Sri Lanka has entered an agreement to purchase 13 million doses of Sputnik V to be delivered in phases until December.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka began to expand it’s inoculation program across the country amid a sharp increase of confirmed cases from different parts of the country in recent weeks.
Previously, the vaccination program was centered in the capital region.
As of Friday, Sri Lanka’s total number of confirmed cases stood at 174,860, with 1,325 deaths.