President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a twitter message this morning (16 July) said “Grateful to the US government and the American people for generously donating 1.5 Mn Moderna vaccines through the COVAX program to Sri Lanka. Together we shall reach our common goal of beating this pandemic”.
The President’s tweet followed the arrival earlier today of a stock of 1.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, donated by the USA, and made available through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO). The consignment was handed over to Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, by US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz at Katunayake.
In a tweet announcing the donation US Secretary of State Blinken tweeted “The United States is proud to lead the global fight against COVID-19 by sharing 1.5 million Moderna vaccine doses with our Sri Lankan friends. We are committed to vaccinating as many people as possible to save lives, rebuild the global economy and stop the threat of new variants”.
Responding to it, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was to observe “On behalf of the GOSL & our people, I thank US Govt for donating 1.5 mn Moderna vaccines to Sri Lanka. Greatly appreciate US commitment & efforts in eradicating global pandemic & saving lives”.
The US decision to make available COVID 19 vaccines as donations to needy countries was first announced by President Biden on 26th April 2021. The Sri Lanka Government which made known its interest in benefitting from this generous gesture early, has through its Embassy in Washington D.C., in coordination with the Sri Lanka State Pharmaceuticals Cooperation (CPC), been in discussion with the relevant US administration partners and vaccines manufacturing companies in facilitating the donation to Sri Lanka.