A consignment of 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is expected on Thursday night from Serum Institute of India, Acting Health Minister and Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals State Minister Channa Jayasumana said yesterday.
The country has signed an order for 10 million doses of the vaccine with the Serum Institute of Sri Lanka and this would be the first batch of the order.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath yesterday said the vaccination program is being carried out with priority given to high-risk areas in the Western Province. He explained that vaccination centres are active for a few days and that the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and other officials will inform residents of the program.
He asked the public to not panic as all persons over the age of 30 will receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
“A challenge we face when procuring vaccines is that, due to the demand for vaccines to which production is limited in comparison, we do not receive vaccines we have purchased or requested as soon as we hope. Due to this, we must provide the vaccine in a proper manner, considering risk and priority,” Dr. Herath said.
He added that persons should be patient until it is their turn and follow safety guidelines before and after vaccination.