Two types of Sinopharm recipients to get 3rd dose
a year ago
By Buddhika Samaraweera Under the programme of administering a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccines, out of those who received the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine, those over 60 years of age and those below 60 years who suffer co-morbidities will be given a third dose, the Health Ministry confirmed. When contacted by The Morning, the Health Ministry Communication Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General (DDG), and the Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said that the Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) has recommended that a third dose of Covid-19 vaccines be given to people over the age of 60 and those below 60 who suffer from various co-morbidities, among individuals that have received the Sinopharm vaccine. “According to the recommendation made by the ACCD, a third dose of Covid-19 vaccines will be given to everyone who got the Sinopharm vaccine and are above 60 years, as well as those who are below 60 and suffering comorbidities,” he said. When questioned as to whether any recommendation has been made to administer a third dose to those who have received other types of Covid-19 vaccines, Dr. Herath said that at present, such a recommendation has not been made, and that only the above groups who received the Sinopharm vaccine would be administered a third dose. In response to a question as to whether there is any specific timeline for the above groups to be given a third dose, he said that the manner in which this will be implemented should be decided according to the number of vaccine doses that would arrive in the country out of the ordered amount. “First of all, a recommendation has to be made and now it is there. Now we have to order the vaccines and see how much we are going to get, since there is a huge demand for the Covid-19 vaccines at present. Only once a particular amount of vaccine is received can we decide on how this programme should be implemented,” he added. Meanwhile, State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) Chairman Dr. Prasanna Gunasena said recently that, based on the advice of the Health Ministry’s ACCD, the decision on whether to purchase a further 14 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as a booster shot for the population, will be taken next week. “In May this year, we signed an agreement based on the ACCD’s recommendations to secure four million Pfizer-BioNTech doses for children, and 14 million extra doses. We have already paid the cost for the four million Pfizer-BioNTech doses, all of which will be in the country by the end-October. The ACCD Expert Committee is due to meet and they will inform us as to how many extra doses are necessary for us to allocate as boosters for those with special needs and low immunity, and the elderly,” added Dr. Gunasena at a Presidential Media Centre (PMC) press briefing recently.