Colombo, Jan 30: No adverse reactions or side-effects have been reported by 5,286 Sri Lankans who on Friday received Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine provided by India, health officials said on Saturday.
Sri Lanka on Friday launched its national coronavirus immunisation campaign by administering the first shots to frontline health workers, soldiers and security personnel, a day after India gifted 500,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to the island nation. As many as 5,286 people were administered the jabs at nine hospitals, including two military hospitals, on the first day.
No adverse reactions or side-effects have so far been reported from anywhere, the health officials said.
The Oxford-Astrazeneca’s Covishield vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, was approved for emergency use by the Sri Lankan government. Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who is in the ICU after being tested positive for COVID-19, issued a statement on Saturday from her hospital bed, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for making the vaccine available free to Sri Lanka.
The vaccination drive was formally launched at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. State Minister of Primary Health Services, Pandemics, COVID Prevention Sudarshini Fernandopulle, High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay and various other dignitaries attended the event. – PTI