ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s health authorities are once again lamenting low youth turnout at COVID-19 vaccination centres, this time with state university students said to be foregoing a campus-administered jab in favour of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine which is in short supply.
Health Services Deputy Director Dr Hemantha Herath told reporters on Tuesday (12) that it is important that students are vaccinated before academic activity resumes in state universities.
Vaccinating students, academic and non academic staff aged 20 to 29 commenced on Monday (11) at all government universities and will continue till Friday. Vaccination centres have been established in university premises in all universities and university affiliates, according to the University Grants Commission.
“So far, the first and second doses of Pfizer have been administered to only 400,000 each. It hasn’t even passed a million yet. This jab is given depending on the consignments received,” said Dr Herath.
“The vaccine that students want arrives in very limited quantifies. We can’t easily purchase it either. That why availability is limited,” he added.
Rising vaccine hesitancy among Sri Lanka’s youth has been cause for concern for health authorities. Officials have blamed it on misinformation campaigns and unfounded fears.