While stressing the point that a minority of fully vaccinated people could get severe disease, and may even die, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) requested the Government to consider giving a third dose to people whose immune system is weak despite being fully vaccinated.
SLMA President Dr Padma Gunaratne said studies from Bahrain has shown that in those over 50 years, people given the Sinopharm vaccine, while preventing death and severe disease compared to the unvaccinated, had a slightly increased death rate, and hospitalization compared to the Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik and Astra Zeneca vaccines.
“Studies from the laboratory of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, Sri Jayawardanapura University (SJPU) has also shown that, while almost all people over 60 years given the AZ vaccine develop antibodies, a very small proportion, 7%, given Sinopharm do not do so,” she explained.
In addition, Dr Gunaratne said patients with some diseases or on certain drugs (organ and stem cell (bone marrow) transplant recipients, patients with active cancer, those on immunosuppressive therapies and on dialysis, advanced HIV have a weak immune system, and will not produce antibodies, whatever the vaccine that was given.
Thus, the SLMA proposed that people over 60 who had been given 2 doses of Sinopharm, and those with a weak immune system, be given a third dose, with AztraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines