Speaking to the Sri Lankan parliament on April 21, Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi explained that there had been six cases of blood clotting after the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, and this has led to three deaths.
However, the government has not said it will stop using the vaccine. In fact, the health minister noted that it would be dangerous to scaremonger on the back of this statistic.
Instead of causing fear, the minister noted that there were measures in place for the rare minority that experience issues. Speaking to the Sri Lankan parliament, Wanniarachchi explained what these are. “If you have headache, sore throat or chest pain four days after the injection, you should seek medical advice. A committee of specialists has also been appointed to identify patients with chronic complications.”
During this parliamentary meeting, officials also discussed the Covid-19 rates being faced by the country. There were 367 new cases identified in the country yesterday, taking the total number of infections to 97,471. After five Covid-19 related deaths yesterday, the country has seen a total of 625 deaths from the virus.
Nearly a million people in Sri Lanka have received a dose of the AstraZeneca jab to date.
The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been limited in some countries due to rare blood clots. But in the UK its use has been defended by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the government. Meanwhile, the director of public health in the UK, Carole Furlong, claimed it is safer than female contraceptive pills.