Health experts consider giving second jab after 16 weeks

By Vyshnavy Velrajh

Health authorities are considering administering the second jab of the coronavirus vaccine after a period of 16 weeks.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told Colombo Gazette that recent scientific research on the virus had revealed that the vaccine is best administered after 16 weeks.

He said initially it was announced that the second jab must be received after 4 weeks, and it was later moved to 12 weeks.

The Head of the National Centre for the Prevention of COVID-19 (NOCPC) said however, recent developments have proven that it was best administered after 16 weeks.

General Shavendra Silva said a final decision in this regard will be taken by a technical committee of the Health Ministry.

He said the Ministry will reach a decision that will be based on the best possible outcome for the citizens of the country.

Sri Lanka commenced the COVID-19 vaccination programme on 29th January.

Over 900,000 people have received the first dose using the AstraZeneca vaccine obtained from the Serum Institute of India.

The Health Ministry was scheduled to administer the second jab from 19th April.

However, there is uncertainty on when and how many people will receive the second jab on time as the Serum Institute of India has suspended the export of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Colombo Gazette)

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