Health officials yesterday stated that vaccination of children between ages 12 and 19 with disabilities and chronic illness would commence on Friday.
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is to be used for the vaccination of children, Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation State Minister Channa Jayasumana said.
The vaccination drive will commence from the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children and will be carried out from other hospitals in Western Province starting 27 September.
The vaccination drive for this group will be extended countrywide on 4 October.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said in Parliament yesterday that candidates of the Advanced Level examination will be administered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. “Last week, the President issued instructions on this, and the Health Ministry and Education Ministry have begun discussions,” he said.
Meanwhile, according to State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, an order has been placed for 14 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered as a booster shot. This will cover 60% of the country’s vaccinated population. The administration of a booster shot is expected to commence in the next two months, with persons requiring a booster shot receiving it six months after the first two doses. The Health Ministry has been tasked with preparing guidelines on who will receive booster shots.
“Vaccines required for a third dose to boost immunity have already been ordered. We have also made an advanced payment for them. The World Bank will make the payment for all these vaccines by 1 October,” Dr. Gunasena said, adding that the third dose was recommended by the expert committee on vaccination and epidemiology in May.
The SPC Chairman went on to say that there was no more a need to purchase COVID-19 vaccines this year.