Sri Lanka to administer second shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on May 1

The company logo for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S.

Sri Lankan health authorities says they’ll start giving the second shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on May 1.

The announcement comes as the government is facing criticism for delaying giving of the second shot.

On Tuesday, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control, Sudarshini Fernandopulle told parliament that Sri Lanka started giving the first shot on Jan. 29 and the new scientific data recommends to give the second dose 12 weeks after the first.

Sri Lanka has so far inoculated 925,242 people, using the AstraZeneca vaccine. Sri Lanka has received 1.2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. The country needs about 576,500 more vaccines to be given as the 2nd dose.

The government says they would receive the balance in the next few weeks from the manufacturer in India. Opposition lawmakers have criticized the government for delaying giving the second dose.

Sri Lanka’s total number of positive cases reached 97,104, with 620 confirmed deaths.

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