Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella says a total of 6.8 million doses of vaccines have been procured to use as booster shots against COVID-19.
Speaking in Parliament today, Minister Rambukwella said a decision to administer a booster or a third vaccine shot to persons above 60 years, frontline workers and security forces personnel has been taken based on a recommendation by local health experts.
The Health Minister said although the World Health Organisation has recommended the booster shot for over 65s, local authorities decided to administer a third jab to persons above 60 years.
He made the revelation in response to a question by Parliamentarian Buddhika Pathirana.
MP Pathirana questioned as to whether an adequate number of vaccine doses are available at present and whether a third shot will be administered exclusively by using the Pfizer vaccine.
Health Minister Rambukwella noted the government procured 14 million Pfizer vaccine doses initially, however the government was compelled to revise the order and vaccines will be available for just over 6.8 million persons.
Minister Rambukwella said instead of focusing on the brand of the vaccine, all factions should support the vaccination drive.
He said he cannot comment on vaccinating or administering third jabs to other categories including children, since no definitive guideline has been issued by the WHO thus far.
Minister Rambukwella stressed the government has already procured more doses than what is required based on WHO guidelines for booster shots against COVID-19.