ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has placed an order for 14 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 jab to vaccinate people under 20 and as a booster shot, a health official said.
State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr Prasanna Gunasena said a final decision on how to divide up the consignment will be made by the Advisory Committee of Communicable Diseases (ACCD).
Administering a third dose or booster shot against COVID-19 is expected to begin in October or November following the ACD’s decision, Gunasena told reporters on Tuesday (21).
The SPC has acquired a total of 31.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
Sri Lanka has purchased enough vaccines to jab 17.5 million people, said Gunasena.
“There is no need to acquire more vaccines at the moment,” he said.
According to State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceutical Channa Jayasumanas, so far Sri Lanka has received 2,719,840 doses of Astrazeneca, 330,000 doses of Sputnik V, 1,010,430 doses of Pfizer, 1,500,100 doses of Moderna and 26 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines.
Jayasumana said more than 50 percent of the population have received two doses each of the aforementioned vaccines so far.
“As of September 20, the first dose of a vaccine has been administered to 62.9 percent of the total population while 50.7 percent have been fully vaccinated,” Jayasumana told parliament on Tuesday.
Children above 12 years of age with congenital disorders will be given the Pfizer jab starting September 24 at the Lady Ridgway Children’s Hospital in Colombo. The vaccine will be available for such children at all hospitals in the Western province by September 27 and island-wide by October 04.
“There are around 30,000 to 50,000 children with congenital disorders in the 12-19 age group,” the state minister said.
Deputy Director of Health Services Dr Hemantha Herath, meanwhile, said vaccination will be limited to main vaccination centers in the future.
“In a few months, we will be close to a period of one year since we started vaccination.
“Vaccination must continue, but with a third dose administration is in discussion, the rollout will be limited for a few places in the future,” Herath said. (Colombo/ Sep21/2021)