Sri Lanka's move to reopen schools hit by shortage of vaccines

A pregnant woman receives a dose of Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the launching ceremony of the vaccination for pregnant women in the country, in Piliyandala suburb, Colombo Sri Lanka June 9, 2021. Picture taken through glass.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Sri Lanka’s efforts to re-open schools after the current wave of COVID-19 are being hampered by the non-availability of enough vaccines for teachers and the staff, Education Minister G.L. Peiris has said.

Schools have been shut in the country since mid-April because of the current devastating third wave of the pandemic.

“We need over 270,000 vaccines for teachers and other educational staff. This vaccination will be very important for re-opening of schools," Peiris said on Wednesday.

Vaccination will improve the health safety of teachers as well as build trust in parents, the Minister added.

The Minister said that the government intends to open schools as soon as possible, giving priority to the health and safety of school children and that special attention has been paid to the safe transportation of school children.

Sri Lanka has so far reported 230,692 COVID-19 cases with 2,374 deaths.

Sri Lanka has seen the number of infections jump by over 134,000 since April 15. The number of deaths has also increased by 1,766 since then. More than 50 deaths are being recorded daily, health officials say.

Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 vaccination began in late January with India’s gift of 500,000 Covishield AstraZeneca vaccines.

After India’s Serum Institute failed to provide the promised Covishield vaccines, the health authorities in Sri Lanka are in a dilemma to provide the second jab to those who had been given the first dose of Covishield.

Sri Lanka is constantly receiving supplies of China’s Sinopharm vaccine which is being administered throughout the island currently.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:19:00 PM |

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