By Vyshnavy Velrajh
The inoculation of the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, scheduled to begin on Monday 19 April, has been postponed.
Chief Epidemiologist of the Health Ministry Dr. Sudath Samaraweera told Colombo Gazette that the vaccination of the second dose will not commence as scheduled.
Sri Lanka launched the inoculation of the Oxford AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on 29th January 2021.
Frontline healthcare workers, the Military and Police were identified as priority and were given the initial stocks of the vaccine.
Thereafter, the Government commenced the vaccination of the public above the age of 60 from high-risk areas, mainly in Colombo and Gampaha.
Sri Lanka received nearly 1 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.
The vaccination of the first dose of the vaccine for priority groups, including those above the age of 60 was conducted successfully.
However, the vaccination programme was temporarily suspended recently due to a delay in receiving more doses of the vaccine.
State Minister Dr. Sudharshini Fernandopulle told Colombo Gazette that the Serum Institute of India had temporarily suspended the roll-out of the vaccine due to local demand in India, as a result of a spike in Covid cases.
The State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control said the Serum Institute is yet to inform Sri Lanka on the next possible delivery date for the vaccine doses.
She said as a result, the vaccination programme has been temporarily suspended.
However, State Minister Fernandopulle assured that Sri Lanka was in possession of enough vaccine doses to inoculate frontline healthcare workers, the Military and Police with the second dose of the vaccine. (Colombo Gazette)