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Vaccines from Japan arrive in Sri Lanka

  • August 1, 2021
  • , NHK WORLD , 7:41 a.m.
  • English Press

Sri Lanka has received its first batch of coronavirus vaccine from Japan via an international framework for equitable distribution.


Japan plans to provide a total of 11 million domestically produced AstraZeneca doses to 15 nations via COVAX Facility. These include about 1.5 million doses for Sri Lanka.


A shipment of 700,000 doses arrived at an airport outside the country’s largest city, Colombo, on Saturday.


Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for its support.


Sri Lanka had received AstraZeneca vaccines from neighboring India until March.


But the Sri Lankan government turned to Japan for doses after an explosive coronavirus outbreak stopped supplies from India. More than 500,000 people in Sri Lanka are waiting to receive their second jabs.


Sri Lanka is an important strategic hub in the Indian Ocean.


China is proceeding with infrastructure investment in Sri Lanka through the Belt and Road initiative. Beijing has also engaged in “vaccine diplomacy” by supplying about 10 million doses of domestically developed vaccines to the country.

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