News in circulation stating that Sri Lanka is the first country in South Asia to receive the Pfizer vaccine derived from President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s official Twitter message reading, “Great news this morning as Sri Lanka becomes the first country in South Asia to purchase a contingent of Pfizer vaccines. I am proud of the work that is being done by my government to ensure vaccines for all Sri Lankans. Vaccination continues throughout the country”.
The State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals, Channa Jayasumana had mentioned that Sri Lanka has received the Pfizer vaccine this morning (05.07.2021) also mentioning that Sri Lanka is the first country in the South Asian region to obtain the Pfizer vaccine.
Some other news sources mentioning the same information is as follows;
UNICEF had announced the signing of an agreement with Pfizer on behalf of the COVAX Facility on 11th February 2021 to supply the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine through this year. The delivery of the Pfizer vaccine was anticipated during the first quarter of 2021. Therefore, all 8 countries of the South Asian region — Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka — are officially included as beneficiaries of the COVAX facility. (https://cutt.ly/ZmzLxNn)
An examination into this news revealed that 5,850 doses of the Pfizer vaccine had been delivered to the Maldives on 25.03.2021 by the COVAX facility to support the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the UNICEF organization in the Maldives tweeted the same on its official Twitter page.
Therefore, the Republic of Maldives is the first South Asian country to receive Pfizer, not Sri Lanka.