As Sri Lanka continues to wait for more doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, the Health Ministry is considering delaying administering the second jab 16 weeks after the first dose.
The matter had been discussed by the coronavirus task force headed by Army Commander Shavendra Silva during a meeting held yesterday, the Daily Mirror learns. It was noted that the latest scientific research found that the vaccine is best administered after 16 weeks as opposed to 12 weeks. The Health Ministry is to study the matter and take a final decision. A possible delay in administering the second jab comes as Sri Lanka continues to wait for more doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.
The Serum Institute has temporarily suspended exports of the Covishield Astrazeneca. Sri Lanka has inoculated over 900,000 people using the Covishield Astrazeneca vaccine since January. However, with Serum Institute suspending exports of the vaccine there are concerns Sri Lanka will not be able to provide the second dose to all those who obtained the first dose.
The Government was hoping to administer the second dose of the Covishield Astrazeneca vaccine between April and July.(Easwaran Ratnam)