Second dose of COVID vaccine will be given on first week of May

The supply of AstraZeneca vaccine in Sri Lanka has not been suspended and the second dose is planned to be given to those who received the first vaccine in early May, the Minister of Health Pavithra Wanniarachchi stated in Parliament.

Wanniarachchi pointed out that not only the AstraZeneca vaccine but also any vaccine could cause complications and that giving undue publicity to the rare allergic conditions in the vaccine could undermine public confidence in the vaccine.

Minister Wanniaarachchi made these observations in reply to a question raised by the Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa in Parliament under the Standing Order 27 (2).

The Health Minister furthered, “Some persons who were vaccinated in some countries were reported to having blood clots within a few weeks of receiving this vaccine. Six such cases have been reported in Sri Lanka and three of them have been fatal. According to the World Health Organization's Committee on Vaccines and Side Effects, no direct link between blood clots and vaccines has been identified, with an estimated 4 to 6 million cases reported. Thus, the incidence of coronary heart disease is relatively low compared to the risk of coronary heart disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the continued use of this vaccine. A similar view has been put forward by the European Union-affiliated Drug Council.”

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