Health Ministry dismisses concerns on Pfizer vaccine

By Easwaran RutnamĀ 

The Health Ministry has dismissed concerns on the Pfizer vaccine following reports that a woman who obtained the vaccine tested positive for the coronavirus one week later.

Deputy Director-General of Public Health Services, Dr. Hemantha Herath said that any vaccine will have a small percentage of failure, Daily Mirror reported.

A 45-year-old nurse in California tested positive for COVID-19 more than a week after receiving the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr. Hemantha Herath told reporters yesterday (Friday) that that vaccines issued for other viruses have also had a small failure ratio.

He also noted that the Pfizer vaccine and all other vaccines mention the failure percentage so it is to be expected.

The World Health Organization on Thursday approved the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, a move aimed at helping the developing world gain access to the vaccine sooner.

Dr. Hemantha Herath said that Sri Lanka is looking at Pfizer and other vaccines with an open mind and will decide on the best vaccine soon.

Asked about the cost of the logistical arrangements if Sri Lanka were to obtain the Pfizer vaccine, Dr. Hemantha Herath said that Sri Lanka is giving priority to the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and other matters will be secondary.

Professor Neelika Malavige from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura said that based on available reports Pfizer is the best available vaccine.

She said that Pfizer will cost USD 40 for two doses while the other best option, Oxford-AstraZeneca will cost USD 7 for two doses.

Professor Neelika Malavige said that the price of the vaccines have been made public. (Colombo Gazette)

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