Written by Zulfick Farzan
29 Jan, 2021 | 11:17 am
Colombo (News 1st); The island-wide vaccination of the Indian government-gifted ‘AstraZeneca Covishield’ vaccine began on Friday morning (29).
Dr. Ananda Wijewickrema of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (formerly IDH), Colombo received the 1st dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at IDH premises on Friday (29).
At Colombo Army Hospital, the first few doses were jabbed to a representative group of Army personnel working in the frontline against transmission of COVID 19 in the country
Medical Officers at the Colombo Army Hospital adopting medical procedures jabbed the first dose of the vaccine, heralding the start of the vaccination project, less than 24 hours after the first consignment of India-gifted vaccines was received by the President on Thursday (28) afternoon.
The launch of the COVID-19 vaccine will give hope to the people for a COVID free nation, said Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control.
Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga who heads the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination Plan and National Development said the country is in safe hands with expertise, knowledge, and experience at the Ministry of Health.
The Indian government under its ‘neighbours first’ policy responded to Sri Lanka’s Presidential request swiftly and went to the extent of obtaining the 500,000 stock through India’s main laboratory before it was thus dispatched free of charge to Colombo by the Air India flight A1 281 on Thursday (28) noon.
“This Covishield vaccine injected in two doses per person will be first used at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Colombo, National Hospital, Ragama Hospital and six other hospitals, including the Colombo Army Hospital and the Panagoda Army Hospital beginning today (29). From tomorrow, it will be taken to other areas and all Army Hospitals as planned. This vaccination is restricted strictly to those whose names have already been listed and the entire programme will remain very transparent,” General Shavendra Silva was quoted saying, reported the Sri Lanka Army website.
The Ministry of Health said the inoculation will be carried out today at the Colombo National Hospital, Colombo-North Teaching Hospital Ragama, Colombo-South Teaching Hospital, Homagama Base Hospital, Colombo-East Base Hospital Mulleriyawa, and the Infectious Disease Hospital in Angoda.
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