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Sri Lanka to give second dose from April 19 with left-over stock

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will start giving the second dose of a Coronavirus vaccine to over 900,000 recipients of the first does from April 19, State Minister for Primary Health Care Sudarshini Fernandopulle told parliament.

Minister Fernandopulle said the second dose will be given from April 19 to June 30, but there were only 300,000 doses in the country.

“We have around 300,000 doses of vaccine to start giving the second dose from April 19,” Fernandopulle told parliament on April 05.

“The second dose is scheduled to be given from April 19- June 30. In the mean time we expect to receive the consignments from Serum Institute and COVAX facility as well.”

Based on the latest research many countries were giving the second dose about 10 to 12 weeks after the first dose she said.

Health authorities have given the vaccine to 923,954 people from January 29 – April 01.

Sri Lanka’s Chief Epidemiologist, Sudath Samaraweera told reporters last week that vaccination of new persons were suspended the April 02,2021 to conserve the remaining vaccines for the second dose.

Sri Lanka will need at least another 600,000 doses for the second dose.

“But we believe we can revise the program by the end of the month or by May with the vaccine we purchase as well as the vaccine we receive from COVAX facility” Samaraweera told reporters

Sri Lanka has faced delays from the original schedule in getting AstraZeneca vaccines from India.

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Concerns have been raised that authorities will give China’s Sinopharm vaccine to the population which has not been approved by the World Health Organization.

All politicians and many between the ages of 35 to 60 had also been vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine.

Authorities have said initially the vaccine will be given to Chinese resident workers. (Colombo/April05/2021)

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