Sri Lanka Vaccinates Children as Schools Reopen
Sri Lanka and Human Rights Researcher,
Global Human Rights Defence.
On Friday, the 7th of January 2022, Sri Lankan health authorities started vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 years, following a warning by the country's medical experts of another COVID-19 infection wave due to the spread of the omicron variant of the virus. According to the Health Ministry, a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be given to children in this age bracket (Mallawarachi, B., 2022). Children aged 16 to 19 years were already eligible for vaccination with a single shot. The Sri Lankan Health Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella, stated that a decision was taken to start giving the children in this age bracket a second dose of the vaccine if they had completed 3 months or more since the first dose (Ada Derana, 2022). This effort begins as all schools are reopening today, on Monday the 10th of January, while school cafeterias remain closed (Colombo Page, 2022). The Public Health Inspectors' Association chairman, Upul Rohana, expressed the necessity of ‘[following] proper health guidelines as children are more likely to develop [COVID-19] as they are exposed to society’ (Colombo Page, 2022).
The Sri Lankan Association of Medical Specialists reported that bars and shops were ‘jam packed’ at New Year’s Eve, making a surge in omicron variant COVID-19 infections almost inevitable (Mallawarachi, B., 2022).
Sources and further reading:
Ada Derana (2022, January 07). Sri Lanka to roll out COVID second dose for 16- 19 age group. Ada Derana. http://www.adaderana.lk/news/79706/sri-lanka-to-roll-out-covid-second-dose-for-16-19-age-group
Colombo Page (2022, January 10). All schools commence academic activities as usual from today. Colombo Page. http://www.colombopage.com/archive_22A/Jan10_1641798749CH.php
Mallawarachi, B. (2022, January 07). Sri Lanka vaccinates children as doctors warn of COVID surge. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/sri-lanka-vaccinates-children-as-doctors-warn-of-covid-surge/2022/01/07/839d6a44-6f7d-11ec-b1e2-0539da8f4451_story.html