Vaccinating A/L class students in Colombo commences

  • 24K in Colombo to receive jab in 21 days

By Buddhika Samaraweera

The programme to administer the US-German made Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for students studying in General Certificate of Education (GCE) Advanced Level (A/L) classes in all education zones in the Colombo District will commence today (15).

Commenting on this to the media, Colombo Zonal Education Director G.N. Silva stated that about 24,000 GCE A/L students belonging to the Colombo Education Zone will be vaccinated against Covid-19 under this programme. Accordingly, all schools and parents have, by now, been informed about this, he said.

He further said: “Students have been instructed to come to the schools designated as vaccination centres. All the vaccination centres in the schools have been set up by now, but students are requested to come and receive the vaccines as per the health guidelines and not arrive in large groups.”

Silva added that the relevant vaccination centres would be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., adding that all GCE A/L students in the Colombo Education Zone are expected to be vaccinated against Covid-19 within a period of 21 days.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media yesterday (14), the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians President Prof. Shaman Rajindrajith said that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is planned to be given to GCE A/L students in all parts of the country from 21 October. “Accordingly, it is possible for students to obtain vaccines through the relevant Medical Officer of Health (MOH) offices. If there are students with any allergies, they can get the vaccine from the nearest hospital,” he added.

Education Minister Dinesh Gunawardena recently stated that discussions were ongoing between the Education Ministry and the Health Ministry regarding the provision of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines to students who are scheduled to sit for the GCE A/L Examination.

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Opposition Parliamentarian Patali Champika Ranawaka also requested Gunawardena to consider the provision of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for students who are scheduled to sit for the GCE A/L Examination. “I request you to administer the said vaccine to the students and to hold the GCE A/L Examination after covering the relevant syllabi,” he added.

In response, Gunawardena stated: “President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already issued an order in this regard. Accordingly, the Education and Health Ministries have commenced discussions regarding the formulation of a programme to provide the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to GCE A/L students.”