Sri Lanka to administer Pfizer vaccine as the second dose for AstraZeneca first dose receivers

Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19

[File: Dado Ruvic / Illustration / Reuters]

State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana has requested the Director-General of Health Services to look into the possibility of administering the Pfizer vaccine as the second dose to those who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca (Covishield) as the first dose.

Currently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that people who have taken the first dose of AstraZeneca can be given Pfizer vaccine as the second dose.

This option is considered because of the shortage of AstraZeneca doses in the world, to be administered as a second dose for Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka is in need of around 600,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

A German study reports that a combination of AstraZeneca and Biotech vaccines triggers remarkably stronger immune responses rather than jabbing both doses with the same vaccine.

The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) held talks with the Pfizer authorities yesterday and discussed how to work out logistical arrangements for the distribution of their vaccines. Sri Lanka will receive a dispatch of 300,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines in the middle of next month.