Sri Lanka to receive 1.5 million Moderna vaccines on Friday

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Sri Lanka will receive 1.5 million doses of Moderna vaccines this Friday (July 16), says State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana.

The coronavirus jab developed in the United States will be delivered to the island nation under the COVAX facility.

Speaking in this regard, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said 750,000 of the Moderna shots are expected to be administered as the first dose, and the remaining 750,000 will be rolled out as the second dose after a one-month period.

On April 30, the World Health Organization listed Moderna’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Thereby, the Moderna jab became the fifth to be given the status meant to expedite countries’ own approval of shots.

Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), thoroughly assessing the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, has also authorized its use across the European Union.

The WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), in January, had already recommended Moderna’s vaccine for all age groups 18 and above.

As per the SAGE’s recommendation, the Moderna mRNA-1273 vaccine can be used at a schedule of two doses (100 µg, 0.5 ml each) 28 days apart. If necessary, the interval between the doses may be extended to 42 days.

In a clinical trial involving around 30,000 people in total, the Moderna vaccine has shown to have an efficacy of approximately 94.1% in protecting against COVID-19, starting 14 days after the first dose.

The trial also showed 90.9% efficacy in participants at risk of severe COVID-19, including those with chronic lung disease, heart disease, obesity, liver disease, diabetes or HIV infection.