Prisons Dept rolls out fourth vaccine dose

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The Department of Prisons has begun administering the fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose to its staff members and inmates in preparation for a new Covid-19 outbreak.

Those over the age of 60 will be prioritised for Pfizer vaccinations as the fourth dose.

According to Prisons Department Spokesman Chandana Ekanayake, plans have been made to vaccinate 18,518 officers and inmates working and housed in 30 prison institutions with the Pfizer vaccine as the fourth dose. “Administering the fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccination was started yesterday (3) for institutions in the Colombo District such as the Prison Headquarters, Welikada, and Magazine,” he said.

He also highlighted that the vaccine will be distributed to all other prisons within the next few days.

On the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry has extended the expiry date of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines that have already been imported by three months.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Health, the Director of WHO’s Regulation and Prequalification Department has communicated to the Director of UNICEF Supply Division that the shelf life of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine with unopened vials stored at temperatures ranging from -90 to -60 degrees Celsius has been recommended to be extended to 12 months from the previous nine months.

Sri Lanka began administering the fourth Covid-19 vaccine dose, or the second booster, on 9 May 2022. The most recent vaccine will be mandatory for people over the age of 60 and optional for those aged 20 to 60. (TR)