The Government Medical Officers’ Association has compiled a technical report based on scientific evidence to vaccinate children between the age of 12 and 18 years against COVID-19.
Speaking during a media briefing in Colombo yesterday, Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Senal Fernando said vaccinations of children will pave way for the reopening of schools promptly.
Dr. Senal Fernando said due to the coronavirus pandemic, education activities of children have been severely impacted and the GMOA which is also part of the health sector has a responsibility to help reopen schools.
Dr. Fernando said they will provide necessary support to re-open schools and said they are hopeful that the government will implement their recommendations.
He said vaccinations of children are vital to reopen schools and therefore the process should commence promptly.
Dr. Senal Fernando noted the technical report on vaccinating children has been directed to the President, Ministers of Health and Education and also to the Director General of Health Services.
The GMOA Secretary stated they have made recommendations on ways to prevent infections among children, minimize hospitalization, reduce serious cases of COVID-19 and to eliminate child deaths due to coronavirus infections.
Dr. Senal Fernando said he is hopeful the government will take necessary steps to create a safe environment by vaccinating children and resuming academic activities at schools.
Meanwhile, Secretary of the GMOA Dr. Senal Fernando noted several matters must be considered when compiling guidelines to reopen and maintain schools.
Dr. Fernando said schools must be categorized as Red, Yellow and Green Zones based on the vaccination coverage, test positivity rate and overall coronavirus case numbers.
He proposed to appoint a technical committee to evaluate the matters before granting permission to reopen schools.
Dr. Senal Fernando said reopening schools in a safe environment is essential to alleviate the mental stress of students and parents.
Meanwhile, yesterday, the government announced that a technical committee has been appointed to obtain recommendations to promptly re-open 3,000 rural schools which have less than 100 students.
Schools in Sri Lanka have been closed for several weeks following a spike in coronavirus cases.