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50% of 12+ kids with chronic diseases jabbed

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Under the programme to administer Covid-19 vaccines to children over 12 years of age who are suffering from chronic diseases, about 50% of such children have now been given the vaccines, according to the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians.

Speaking to the media yesterday (14), its President Prof. Shaman Rajindrajith said that as of 13 October, a total of 14,128 doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been given to children with chronic diseases.

“Currently, the programme to administer Covid-19 vaccines for these children is very successful, and about 50% of them are expected to be vaccinated. No serious side effects have been reported so far,” he added.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had recently instructed health officials to inoculate children between the ages of 15-19 years with the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, and National Operations Centre for the Prevention of the Covid-19 Outbreak (NOCPCO) Head and Army Commander Gen. Shavendra Silva said that the President had also instructed officials to inoculate children with special needs above the age of 12 years with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) has also recommended the administration of Covid-19 vaccines to children suffering from chronic diseases.

Accordingly, the Covid-19 vaccination programme for children over 12 years of age suffering from chronic diseases commenced on 24 September at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children (LRH) in Colombo. The health authorities later announced that arrangements would be made at other main hospitals in the country from 27 September.