Sri Lanka to continue with AstraZeneca despite some countries suspending vaccine

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Sri Lanka is to continue with AstraZeneca despite some countries suspending use of the vaccine.

The Government today (12) insisted that Sri Lanka has not reported any major complications after administering the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle told Colombo Gazette that only the deaths of two individuals vaccinated in Divulapitiya have been reported thus far.

The State Minister of Primary Healthcare, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control said the two individuals were reported to have died due to myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack.

She said one of the deceased is reported to have suffered from chronic diabetes.

Stating that the deaths are yet to be investigated, she said the investigation will focus on ascertaining if the cause was related to the COVID-19 vaccine, or a coincidence.

State Minister Dr. Fernandopulle said the deaths are yet to be scientifically proven to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

She said as investigations have just been launched in this regard, it is too soon to draw a conclusion on the death and linking it to the vaccine.

The State Minister made these comments when inquired on the decision taken by many countries to suspend the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Denmark, Norway, and Iceland have suspended the use of the vaccine, after reports of “thromboembolic events”, or development of blood clots.

Austria had earlier halted using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism.

Thailand, which was to roll out the vaccine with the Prime Minister to receive the first jab today, has also suspended the vaccination programme over fears of blood clots.

Around 5 million Europeans have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine, out of which about 30 cases had reported “thromboembolic events”, or developing blood clots. (Colombo Gazette)