Infant vaccine re-launched
Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry relaunched the Pentavalent Vaccine
in Lanka from February 1, 2010. The vaccine will henceforth be given to
all two month, four month and six months old infants.
The vaccine which includes five different vaccines was launched in
Sri Lanka in 2008 and suspended after reported allergic reactions,
Deputy Director General, Health Services (Public Health), Dr. Palitha
Maheepala said. According to Dr. Maheepala the Ministry obtained the
services of several foreign and local specialists and scholars to
conduct a scientific investigation and a special team including
professors were appointed to find out about the vaccine.
The findings proved that there is no connection whatsoever between
the vaccine and the allergic reactions reported.
The vaccine was hundred percent safe and of high quality.
The Ministry has already conducted a workshop and a special training
for all relevant health officials and health staff who are responsible
for carrying out the vaccination program. The vaccine will be given to
almost all infants covering the entire infant population in Sri Lanka
who are required to be immunized. Earlier two vaccines injected to the
legs of an infant to immunize them against five diseases. This new
vaccine `Pentavalentí is a single vaccine in the form of a liquid, he
One dose of the vaccine will cost the Government US $ 3.6 and it will
be given free. It costs around Rs 3,000 in the private sector. Global
Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization (GAVI) funds the Government to
carry out the program. The Ministry requests parents to be vigilant on
possible allergic reactions in infants during a period of 48 hours after
administering the vaccine and seek medical assistance if required.