vaccines would be the most effective long-term strategy in the battle against COVID-19 in SL-SLCP

13 January 2021 03:26 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • As Sri Lanka has a total population of only 21 million, it would be possible to immunize all the at-risk groups in a stepwise manner
  • Sri Lanka has pioneered the eradication of polio and measles in the country through high immunization coverage while providing a very good example to the other countries in the region

COVID-19, the most significant pandemic during the lifetime of all of us is never over and it is in fact spinning even faster in many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka. The number of cases and deaths are on the rise. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as vaccines against it have been rolled out in many countries of the world.

Immunization has always been recognized as the most effective strategy to tackle outbreaks of infections throughout the history of medicine. For example, smallpox, a deadly viral infection was eradicated from the world a few decades ago due to the introduction of immunization.


Sri Lanka is a country which has a very good track record in immunization coverage. Sri Lanka has succeeded in markedly reducing the number of infections and mortality due to many communicable diseases like neonatal tetanus, whooping cough and diphtheria through immunization. Most importantly, Sri Lanka has pioneered the eradication of polio and measles in the country through high immunization coverage while providing a very good example to the other countries in the region.


Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP), the Apex professional academic organization of all the Child Specialists in Sri Lanka is one of the key stakeholders in the provision of immunization to children in Sri Lanka since its beginning. Although children are not immediately eligible for immunization against COVID-19 at the present time, they will be indirectly benefitted by provision of COVID-19 immunization to all the hitherto recognized priority groups.

"This is important for children as well because currently imposed restrictions to control the spread of the disease have many a potential to cause long-term adverse outcomes in children in many ways"

Effective immunization will reduce the spread of COVID-19 to children from adults. On the other hand, it will reduce the risk of spreading the infection to older people and other vulnerable groups by children as well. Wider coverage of vaccination will reduce the spread of the disease and help to end the pandemic in the future. This is important for children as well because currently imposed restrictions to control the spread of the disease have many a potential to cause long-term adverse outcomes in children in many ways.
It is needless to stress that any expense which is required to obtain these vaccines would be a long-term investment because the rapidly spreading uncontrolled COVID-19 infections would invariably lead to significant losses to the economy of individuals and the whole country.


As Sri Lanka has a total population of only 21 million, it would be possible to immunize all the at-risk groups in a stepwise manner. Many countries have already commenced to provide immunization against COVID-19 to the general public. The existing better mechanisms and infrastructure for immunization in Sri Lanka, in comparison even to many other countries, would be a valuable asset to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Sri Lankan population effectively.


Due to all these facts, the SLCP strongly believes that while continuing the currently imposed COVID-19 preventive measures, provision of immunization against the pandemic, would be the best long-term strategy to tackle this outbreak in Sri Lanka too. Therefore, the SLCP is duty-bound to urge the health authorities and the government to take all possible measures, promptly and decisively, to accelerate the process of obtaining COVID-19 vaccines to immunize the people of Sri Lanka.

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