A decision will be made in the coming days on the AstraZeneca-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine combination for persons who received the first dose of AstraZeneca, Health Services Director General Dr. Asela Gunawardena said.
He explained that advice was given to the Chief Epidemiologist on Sunday on the relevant committee meeting to discuss the matter.
“A few days ago, the findings of a study carried out by the University of Saarland in Germany were revealed, showing that a better immune response can be achieved by administering an AstraZeneca first dose and Pfizer second dose as opposed to two AstraZeneca doses,” State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Prof. Channa Jayasumana said. He added that an official request has been made to the vaccine committee of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) and the infectious diseases committee of the Health Ministry to issue recommendations on the vaccine combination.
If a positive response is received, the country can meet the requirement of vaccine doses for approximately 600,000 persons who received the first dose of AstraZeneca and are now awaiting their second dose.
According to the Epidemiology Unit, of the 925,242 persons to have received the first dose of AstraZeneca, 355,675 persons have received the second dose as well. This includes the 263 persons who received the second dose of AstraZeneca on Sunday.
In addition to this, 31,440 persons received the first dose of Sinopharm and 66,463 persons received the second dose of Sinopharm on Sunday. A total of 1,326,784 persons have received the first dose of the vaccine and 253,835 persons have received the second dose as well.
The second dose of Sputnik V was administered to 1,576 persons on Sunday and 3,690 persons have received both doses of the vaccine. The first dose of Sputnik V has been administered to 64,986 persons in total.
The COVID-19 immunisation program vaccinated 99,742 persons on Sunday, raising the number of persons to receive the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to 2,317,012 and the number of persons to receive the second dose to 613,200.