Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
15 Feb, 2021 | 10:14 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): The COVID-19 vaccine could be administered to vulnerable groups of the country’s population in the next 24-hours, Army Commander General Shavendra Silva told News 1st on Monday morning (Feb. 15).
“His Excellency the President is keen on immediately commencing vaccination. Therefore, within the next 24-hours, we should most likely be able to start vaccinating the most vulnerable groups, commencing from the Western Province,” Army Commander General Shavendra Silva, the Head of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) told News 1st.
Further elaborating on the vaccination drive, the Army Commander noted the President had instructed to administer the remaining 250,000 doses of India’s AstraZeneca COVISHIELD jab on the people, following the inoculation of the 1st dose of the vaccine among those in the frontline of combatting the pandemic.
“500,000 vaccines were brought, and already 250,000 have been vaccinated. So His Excellency the President issued instructions yesterday (Feb. 14) to see the possibility of the balance 250,000 being given to the people,” General Shavendra Silva said.
Sri Lanka received a consignment of 500,000 doses of COVISHIELD vaccines from India on January 28th 2021, as a donation.
Thereby, the COVID-19 inoculation of frontline healthcare workers, tri-forces and police in Sri Lanka began on January 29th 2021, and the vaccination of the 1st doses has since concluded.
According to medical experts, each individual should be vaccinated with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to build immunity against the virus.
“Initially, it was said that the second dose of the vaccine should be given within 04-06 weeks. But now the researchers have found to get the best results, we can vaccine the second dose in about 12 weeks,” the Army Commander noted.
According to the Army Commander, the government has ordered 18 million AztraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccines from India, that could be administered to 9 million people; the 1st consignment of the vaccines is set to arrive in the country in the next seven days.
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