Community Vaccination Drive Begins | Daily News

Community Vaccination Drive Begins

The Health Ministry, in collaboration with the Security Forces, Colombo Municipal Council and PHIs has begun inoculating members of the public in Colombo. This community vaccination drive was launched at a vaccination centre established at Rahula Vidyalaya in Meetotamulla in Colombo.

The community vaccination drive is expected to shift into high gear once Sri Lanka receives the consignment of 10 million doses ordered by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) from the Serum Institute of India (SII), maker of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine under licence under the brand name Covishield.

The SPC has signed the order with SII for 10 million doses, officials said. This agreement has been approved by the Attorney General last Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already approved this vaccine for Emergency Use.

Sri Lanka will also receive around eight million doses from the WHO/CEPI/GAVI Covax facility for the global distribution of COVID vaccines in an equitable manner. This will be sufficient to inoculate around four million persons. The country is also likely to receive vaccines from Russia (Gamaleya Institute’s Sputnik V vaccine) as well as from China (Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines).

On January 28, under India’s neighbourhood first ‘Vaccine Maitri’ policy, Sri Lanka received 500,000 doses of free vaccines. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa received the vaccine stock from the Indian ambassador Gopal Baglay at a ceremony at the BIA, Colombo. The vaccines were administered as a priority to frontline health workers and members of the Armed Forces from the very next day. The remainder of this vaccine stock is now being administered to the public.

The Government has also designed a website for Sri Lankans to register for the COVID-19 inoculation, the Health Ministry announced, as the coronavirus vaccination drive has already started on a limited scale.

People will soon be able to go online and register to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the State Ministry for Primary Health Care, Epidemic and COVID Disease Control stated.

By accessing the website, they can provide personal details as well as their medical history. They will be permitted to select either a Government or private hospital to get the vaccination. It is not yet known whether private hospitals themselves will be allowed to import vaccines approved by the Medicines Regulatory Authority.

Pictures by Dushmantha Mayadunne

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