ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will administer a booster or third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday (17) for people over the age of 60 who had their second dose three months prior, a minister said.
Health officials had initially decided to give the booster shot to 60-year-olds six months after the second jab.
State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Channa Jayasumana told parliament on Tuesday (16) that the booster will be administered in the Western and Southern provinces and the Ampara and Anuradhapura districts. The over-60s in these areas will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine no matter what vaccine they had previously received, he said.
The minister also took at the swipe at the opposition for a protest planned for Tuesday amid rising COVID-19 cases. The government has decided to accelerate the third dose, he said.
“In the beginning it was said it should be given after six months. But with the opposition behaving in a ridiculous way, we are scared that the spread will accerate,” Jayasumana said.
“Therefore the advisory committee gave the go-ahead to give booster dose for those over 60 if they have completed three months since they got the second dose.”
Dr Dinu Guruge, the regional epidemiologist of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), tweeted that there are enough vaccines for the booster, so those eligible mustn’t rush to vaccine centres.
CMC will be starting the booster dose for 60yrs + from tomorrow onwards.
We will be sending an SMS with all the information to everyone in due course.
— Dinu Guruge 🇱🇰 (@dinuguruge) November 16, 2021