Sri Lanka doctors urge parents to vaccinate children against COVID-19 without falling prey to myths and superstitions

* Sri Lanka doctors urge parents to vaccinate children against COVID-19 without falling prey to myths and superstitions

Thu, Sep 23, 2021, 08:42 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 23, Colombo: Specialist doctors in Sri Lanka have urged parents and adults not to fall prey to myths and superstitions and to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 without hesitation.

The vaccination program is carried out with the recommendations of the expert committees of the world and our country, and they also advise that successful results can be achieved through right understanding and interest without undue fear.

The virtual media briefing organized by the Presidential Media Centre was held today (23) and it was attended by a medical team including pediatricians. “Vaccination of children” was the theme of today’s discussion, the President’s Media Division said.

Vaccination of children with congenital diseases will begin tomorrow (24) at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo, said Pediatrician Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya.

Accordingly, he advised parents to vaccinate the children who are suffering from chronic diseases including diabetes, neurological diseases, kidney disease, heart disease, thalassemia, diseases of the urinary tract and gastrointestinal diseases.

Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said arrangements have been made to administer the vaccine with the permission of the parents as well as with the recommendation of the relevant specialist doctor when they visit the clinics where they are being treated.

Pediatricians stated that at the same time, all plans required for the vaccination of children in all provincial, district and base hospitals in the coming days have been prepared in accordance with the recommendations of the specialists.

It has been decided to vaccinate the children under three age groups. Accordingly, the first vaccination is given to children with congenital diseases who are between the ages of 12-19 years.

The doctors said that the vaccination of the healthy children in the age group of 15-19 years will begin in the future and that the vaccines to the children in the age group of 12-15 years will be given as soon as the recommendations of the specialists are received.

Specialist Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that even after the vaccination, a team of doctors would monitor the children’s complications under the supervision of specialists and would introduce a direct telephone number to obtain instructions in case of any complications at home.

It was revealed that the experts committee has given the approval to administer the vaccine only in hospitals, and to administer only the Pfizer vaccine to the children.

The Chairman of the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC), Dr. Prasanna Gunasena, expressed disappointment over the statements made by some personnel who are not experts in the field of vaccination through the media.

He requested all media institutions and journalists to publish/broadcast news with regard to the vaccination of children only after confirming information from pediatric specialists, related agencies and the specialists in providing special services.

Specialist Dr. Gunasena pointed out that the spread of myths faster than the virus is a serious matter and said that the doctors as well as the media should act responsibly as vaccination of children is a sensitive issue in our society.

Pediatric Specialist Professor Pujitha Wickramasinghe pointed out that online education is a serious obstacle to the development of a child’s external skills. He said parents fear sending their children with congenital diseases to school even if the schools start, and added that vaccination could help prevent children from losing equal opportunity to education.

When journalists asked if there were any examples of vaccinating children in other countries, the experts said that countries such as the United States, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and the United Kingdom have already vaccinated children in these age groups.

Dr. Sampath Indika Kumara, Director of Health Services of the North Western Province, requested the parents to get the children vaccinated without any fear or suspicion as Sri Lanka has a special experience in vaccination with the advanced healthcare system in South Asia.

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