Pfizer jab for all leaving for foreign jobs
The coronavirus vaccine will be administered to all those eligible to leave for foreign employment, Labour Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva said. In a statement posted on his Facebook page yesterday (22), de Silva thanked Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and her officials for initiating such a project.
He mentioned that a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the country, where the prospective foreign employee hoped to work was required. Accordingly, anyone planning to leave the country for work purposes, after obtaining a visa, would be able to obtain a vaccine that was acceptable to the authorities of the country in which they hoped to work.
Minister de Silva said there were nearly 8,000 Sri Lankan workers, who had been granted work permits and visas in about 15 countries, waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which was acceptable in those countries. They are scheduled to leave for Dubai, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Maldives, Malaysia, Israel and Cyprus.
All of these countries have given their approval to the Pfizer vaccine. He said that the Health Minister and her officials, during a meeting yesterday (22) had agreed to administer the Pfizer jab to all those who were to leave the island for employment. Accordingly, all prospective foreign employees would be administered the first dose of the Pfizer jab at an appointed centre in Colombo. The second dose would be administered in such a way that they could leave the country two months after receiving both doses.
He added that those who received these foreign job opportunities were young men and women below 30 years and he had urged his counterpart at the Health Ministry and her officials to specially consider this factor. Health Secretary, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Secretary to the Labour Ministry, Mapa Pathirana, Director General Health Services (DGHS), Dr. Asela Gunawardena and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB), Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Mahinda Hathurusinghe were also present.