Vaccination of the 12 to 18 age group will commence soon, the Health Ministry stated, adding that vaccination would be required if schools are to reopen soon.
According to Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, two million students in Grades 7 to 13 will be vaccinated first, after which schools can reopen.
When asked if the allocation of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for persons in the 20 – 29 age category could impair the vaccination drive of school students, Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardena said: “We have already placed orders for the quantity necessary to vaccinate children and we are due to receive four million doses in October.”
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA), in a statement issued on Wednesday, recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the 12 to 18 age group, stating: “Children from 12 to 18 years generally do not get severe disease. However, children with certain underlying diseases may get severe disease.” The SLMA also recommended a booster shot six months after the second dose for persons over the age of 60 who received both doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. They also recommended a booster shot with AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna for persons over the age of 60 who received two doses of Sinopharm.
“Some people have been administered one dose of Sputnik; the second dose is different from the first. If the second dose is not available, we suggest that a single dose of AZ, Pfizer or Moderna be given instead,” the SLMA stated. The SLMA added that it was essential that all unvaccinated persons over the age of 18 are immunised with any available vaccine, as all NMRA-approved vaccines can prevent severe disease and death.