Sri Lanka begins COVID vaccinations for children with co-morbidities today

Sri Lanka begins COVID vaccinations for children with co-morbidities today

September 24, 2021   09:53 am

COVID-19 inoculation program for children aged between 12 - 19 years who suffer from disabilities or chronic illnesses kicked off at three hospitals today (Sep. 24).

Accordingly, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are rolled out for such children at the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children in Colombo, Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital and Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

The parents are required to produce all the medical records of children when bringing them for vaccinations.

A Consultant Paediatrician will assess the relevant medical records before deciding whether the vaccine would be administered.

The parents are also required to sign a letter giving consent to administer the Pfizer vaccine to their children.

As per the guidelines, children who recovered from COVID-19 should be vaccinated irrespective of the previous infection disease condition. They can be vaccinated after two weeks since recovery.

In the initial phase of this program, vaccinations will continue in Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. It is expected to be expanded to other areas in due course.

The underlying health conditions eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations are as follows:

1. Primary immune deficiency disorders

2. Acquired immune suppression due to disease or treatment:
• Haematological malignancies, including leukaemia and lymphoma
• Any other malignancy on radiotherapy or chemotherapy
• On biological therapy
• On high or moderate doses of corticosteroids
• On any other immune modulating or suppressant drug like methotrexate, azathioprine, MMF, tacrolimus, cyclophosphamide
• Any transplant recipient
• Any condition which requires a long-term immunosuppressive treatments

3. Haematological conditions or other causes leading to asplenia or splenic dysfunction:
• Thalassemia major and intermedius, 
• Hereditary spherocytosis
• Sickle cell disease

4. Endocrine disorders:
• Diabetes mellitus
• Addison’s disease
• Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia                
• Hypopituitary syndrome
• Other significant hormonal dysfunction

5. Chronic neuro-disability:
• Cerebral palsy
• Autism
• Epilepsy,
• Neuro-degenerative diseases
• Neuro-muscular disorders

6. Congenital genetic syndromes with any chronic disability or disorder and learning disabilities
• Down syndrome
• Severe or profound and multiple learning disabilities due to any aetiology

7. Any other significant genetic and/or metabolic abnormalities that affect a number of systems

8. Chronic heart disorders
• Unrepaired congenital heart diseases
• Repaired heart diseases with significant residual diseases or shunts
• Haemodynamically significant acquired heart diseases

9. Chronic respiratory disorders
• Poorly controlled asthma which requires long term oral steroids or a history of severe asthma which required an ICU care 
• Cystic fibrosis
• Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
• Interstitial lung diseases
• Significant bronchiectasis due to any aetiology
• Pulmonary hypertension

10. Chronic disease involving genito-urinary tract
• Chronic kidney diseases due to any cause
• Nephrotic syndrome on regular follow up
• On treatment for glomerulonephritis
• Any other chronic condition involving genito-urinary tract

11. Chronic disease involving gastrointestinal tract
• Chronic liver cell diseases due to any cause
• Chronic gastrointestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel disease
• Malabsorption syndrome

12. Chronic rheumatological diseases
• Presence of active connective tissue diseases
• Presently being on long-term prophylaxis fever
• Any other rheumatological or surgical condition with disability, requiring long-term treatment

13. Being on long-term treatment for chronic psychiatric diseases

14. Any other child with significant co-morbid condition as recommended by the treating consultant in relevant speciality and endorsed by the paediatrician and physician in the vaccination centre

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