Sri Lanka: No adverse reactions so far following vaccination
(Sourced from PTI)
No adverse reactions or side-effects have so far been reported by those who were vaccinated in Sri Lanka on Friday with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield, provided by India, health officials said on Saturday. 5,286 people were administered the jabs at nine hospitals, including two military hospitals, on the first day. "No adverse reactions or side-effects have so far been reported," the health officials said.
Sri Lanka on Friday launched its national coronavirus immunization campaign by administering the first shots to frontline health workers, soldiers, and security personnel, a day after India gifted 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to the island nation.
Notably, Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, was approved for emergency use by the Sri Lankan Government. Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who is in the ICU after being tested positive for COVID-19, issued a statement on Saturday from her hospital bed, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for making the vaccine available free to Sri Lanka.
The gift from India is in line with India's continued support to Sri Lanka in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Four consignments of medical supplies weighing around 25 tonnes were donated by India, which also organized online experience-sharing programs for Sri Lankan medical professionals.
The two nations have put up a joint front in the COVID-19 battle with India and Sri Lanka being the largest contributors to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for SAARC. Prime Minister Modi had complimented Sri Lanka's leadership on containing the pandemic. On Thursday, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa thanked India for its generosity after he received 500,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine.
A total of 250,000 people, mostly health frontline workers, members of the security forces and police, and the vulnerable aged will get the vaccine on a priority basis. The Sri Lankan health authorities said the immunization program is ongoing in nine hospitals across the country. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has recorded over 300 deaths so far due to COVID-19.
Sri Lanka witnessed a fresh outbreak of the disease in October last year when two clusters - one centered in a garment factory and the other in the main fish market - emerged in Colombo and its suburbs.