Colombo, May 25 (Daily Mirror) – There has been a serious breach in the rollout programme of the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Sri Lanka with allegations being raised that the Health Ministry has not followed the required protocol and instead gave doses with close ‘connections’, the Daily Mirror learns.
Over the weekend and yesterday, it is alleged some doctors from the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) had given the jab to family and friends in 22 centres in Colombo.
The limited jabs which were in stock were to be administered on front liners and medical workers as well as those who urgently require it due to the shortage of jabs.
The Public Health Inspectors Association, seeing the alleged injustice and misconduct being administered by the doctors, authorities and Health Ministry, has decided to pull out from their operations today in protest, claiming that if the limited doses continue to be administered only on those with preferential treatment, then those whose 16 weeks are up may have to be administered fresh doses again, which the doctors will have to explain.
The 22 centres where the Astrazeneca second doses were rolled out were under the pretext of jabbing only the frontliners and frontline service providers and medical staff but the PHIS have claimed that doctors from the GMOA severely misused this protocol.
Some readers who alleged to have gone and stood in the line in some of these centres said they were taken in only on some connection while some received it after having stood in the line for a few hours.
The Health Ministry seem to have ignored the protocol to administer the doses according to the dates and weeks if they were ready to open out to members of the general public.
The government has still no positive word as to when the remaining 600,000 doses of the Astrazeneca will arrive in Sri Lanka while the only answer being publicly announced is that they were trying hard.
There is no word as well from the authorities that if they fail to secure the needed supplies then what will happen to those who took the first jabs as the WHO has not recommended the mixture of different vaccine types. (Jamila Husain)