Ravi Kumudesh: Indian-made vaccine should not be forced on Sri Lankans

Ravi Kumudesh

The general public should be given access to the most suitable COVID-19 vaccine instead of being made to take the Indian vaccine, President of the College of Medical Laboratory Science, Ravi Kumudesh told The Island yesterday.

Kumudesh said that the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) had so far only registered Covidshield vaccine (Indian name for Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.)

“Given that the Medical Research Institute (MRI) only checks documents, there can’t be a reason for the delay in registering other vaccines. We are glad that India gave us some vaccine doses for free, but we can’t just import more of the same without a proper study.”

A number of frontline workers who received the Indian COVID-19 vaccine had developed mild reactions, but Health Ministry has shown no interest in collecting and analyzing that data, Kumudesh said.

“We are not collecting data or analysing them. No one can explain why we are using only Covidshield. No one can say what the best vaccine for us is. We can’t independently verify anything although we have a 200-year-old MRI. At least now the government must invest in the MRI and restore it to its pristine position.”

(Source: The Island – By Rathindra Kuruwita)