- Private sector offer to get vaccines for staff under consideration
- No plans yet to immunise outbound travellers but framework possible in two months
Given the importance and sensitive nature of the COVID-19 vaccine, private hospitals will not be allowed to be involved in the immunisation process, Senior Presidential Advisor Lalith Weeratunga said yesterday.
In terms of private sector involvement in the vaccination process, Weeratunga said the National Immunisation Program does not factor in private sector hospitals to administer the vaccine, especially the COVD vaccine, as it is meant for use in emergency situations. As such, the vaccine will only be administered at State vaccination points.
“At the best level of operation or even the optimum level of operation, the Health Ministry envisages having around 4,000 vaccination points,” he said, explaining that a vaccination point goes beyond the actual administration of the vaccine and includes post-vaccination care.
“It is not advisable right now to allow the private sector to do that.”
However, he added that the private sector has shown interest in funding the vaccine for their employees. Calculations are yet to be made on the required amounts but there is data on the working population. While Weeratunga said the Government is working towards providing a pathway for this, he went on to say: “We are now trying to see what our most critical layers of population are, and therefore we will first go through this.”
Questions were also raised about providing the vaccine to outbound travellers, and Weeratunga said there was no such facility planned at present but that alternative paths will be considered, and preparations will be made in the next two months.