The Association of Healthcare Professionals has questioned the government as to why a higher price is being paid for the Chinese manufactured Sinopharm vaccine, when high-quality COVID-19 vaccines can be purchased at a lower cost.
The Association said it is surprising that Chinese vaccines are being purchased at a higher price instead of importing the most sought after Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in both Sri Lanka and across the world.
President of the Association Ravi Kumudesh said authorities must issue an explanation to the public for the reasoning behind such a decision, as public funds are being utilised.
He said the Sinopharm vaccine is being purchased elsewhere in the world at between USD 10-14 per dose while Sri Lanka is purchasing the vaccine at USD 15.
Kumudesh said of the 22 million vaccines imported to Sri Lanka 17 million vaccine doses are from China.
He also claimed that Middle Eastern and Western countries recognise the Pfizer vaccine for the purpose of travel.
Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella meanwhile rejected the charges by the Association.
The Minister said he does not consider such allegations seriously, adding that the government has taken all possible measures within its capacity to mitigate the coronavirus.
He claimed that all measures in the world are not 100 percent accurate, adding that at times unexpected situations arise.
Minister Rambukwella added the Ministry of Health is facing all concerns that arise, claiming that individuals must always look at the positives in any decision while stating shortcomings can always be addressed.
The Health Minister said the Medical Laboratory Technologists have tabled many positive ideas adding that he spoke to the President regarding their suggestions as well claiming the President advised to implement all practical proposals put forth.