Considering the strategies adopted in other countries, on the advice of Sri Lankan Paediatricians, Community Health Specialists and considering the limited number of Pfizer vaccines received by the country, priority should be given to start vaccinating school children, including those between the ages of 12-18 years, including children with high-risk and special needs, the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) emphasized.
GMOA Secretary Dr. Shenal Fernando said over 100,000 Pfizer vaccines have been brought to the country and the use of those vaccines could not be approved without considering the technicalities.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has approved the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 12-18 years, including children with high-risk and special needs, the medical professional said. The Pfizer vaccine is available in very limited quantities in the country.
Therefore, the dosage should be administered to the technically correct groups under a targeted programme to reduce the infant mortality rate, Dr. Fernando said.
“School children can be included for vaccination at this moment. The most commonly available Sinopharm vaccine can also be given to people over 18 years of age. Only limited Pfizer dosages are technically available for vaccination for more appropriate age groups and can be used in accordance with a scientific method of administering a third dose to high-risk groups, “Dr. Fernando said.
“Not only when imposing travel restrictions, the government seems to be considering economic and social issues. But vaccination is purely a technical matter. Therefore, social and political considerations should not be used to change the vaccine. Technical decisions on vaccination should be made by the Technical Committee of the Health Ministry and those decisions should not be changed on any other basis, “he said.
According to our survey, there are still 300,000 adults over the age of 60 have not received any vaccine. However, the Epidemiology Unit has not published a targeted programme to properly vaccinate adults over 60 years of age who have not received a single dose. Therefore, there is a risk of more deaths among people over the age of 60 who have not received any such dose in the future, Dr. Fernando added.