Addressing the first International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation held virtually on 05 August 2021, Foreign Minister Gunawardena called for enhanced global efforts to forge closer cooperation between countries to enable the availability and affordability of COVID-19 vaccines to everyone in line with SDG 3 target to ensure access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
While highlighting GoSL’s success in vaccinating more than 90% of its population over the age of 30 with the first dose of vaccination, Minister Gunawardena underlined that there still remained significant inequalities in vaccination programs across the world, that need to be remedied to successfully defeat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Towards this end, Minister Gunawardena thanked both bilateral and international partners, particularly China for the timely supply of over 10 million vaccines including the gift of 2.7 million Sinopharm vaccines to Sri Lanka’s vaccination campaign.
Foreign Minister also urged closer cooperation on research and product enhancement to maintain the quality of vaccine manufacturing.
The Forum, which was chaired by the Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi was attended by the UN Secretary General, Director General of the WHO, Foreign Ministers and Health Ministers of 24 countries, representatives of GAVI, CEPI and vaccine manufacturers. A Joint Statement on advancing vaccine cooperation was also released by the participants following the meeting.
06 August, 2021