Delays in receiving AstraZeneca doses: Health Ministry mulling options
By Dilanthi Jayamanne
The Health Ministry will decide on the next best course of action with regard to those who received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine and are awaiting the second dose, Deputy Director General, Dr. Hemantha Herath said.
He said on Friday (23) the Ministry was informed that it would receive more doses of the vaccine by Monday (19). However, there were delays in vaccine arrivals causing further delay in administering the second dose, he noted.
Responding to questions regarding the delay and the increasing vulnerability of recipients of the vaccine›s first dose, he said the Ministry would wait for another week or so before deciding on what to do next. A total of 925,242 persons have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine while the second dose has been administered to only 385,885, the Epidemiology Unit’s website showed.
Health Authorities aimed at administering the Pfizer vaccine as the second dose for those who had been given the AstraZeneca COVISHIELD vaccine as their first dose against the coronavirus. However, the move was called off after it was announced that more doses of AstraZeneca was expected to arrive by 19 July. Director of the Health Promotion Bureau, Dr. Ranjith Batuwanthudawe said there was no fixed date for the vaccine’s arrival.