ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will start vaccinating all children between 16 and 17 years of age against COVID-19 in an island-wide rollout commencing Friday (22), a health official said.
Authorities started vaccinating 18-19-year-olds in on October 15 and expanded island-wide on Thursday (21).
Director General of Health Services Dr Asela Gunawrdena said with the experience gained from the pilot project commenced on October 15, it was decided by the health authorities to start vaccinating all teenagers aged16 and 17 starting Friday.
According to the Sri Lanka Census and Statistics Department’s 2021 midyear population stats, around 1,793,000 between the ages of 15 and 19 will be vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer-BionTech vaccine.
Gunawardena said vaccination centres have been set up in schools in each district and the required doses have already been delivered to local Medical Officer of Health (MOH) offices.
Sri Lanka received two consignments of the Pfizer vaccine last week consisting of 912,200 doses in total. State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) officials said another 305,370 doses are scheduled to arrive on October 25, completing the initial order placed by the SPC.
Gunawardena said students who do not live in the province of the schools they go to can get the vaccine from a local state school in their residential area.
Chief Epidemiologist Dr Samitha Ginige also in an earlier statement said if there are students in the age 18-19 category who go to a school in a different province, away from their residences, every Saturday starting from October 23, the vaccine can be obtained from their local MOH office. (Colombo/Oct21/2021)