A pregnant woman receives a dose of Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the launching ceremony of the vaccination for pregnant women in the country, in Piliyandala suburb, Colombo Sri Lanka June 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

THE Sri Lankan government has started providing Covid-19 vaccines to pregnant women from Wednesday (9).

The Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine for coronavirus was given to pregnant mothers for the first time in the country, in spite of risk factors, maternal and child health director of family health bureau Dr. Chithramalee de Silva said.

She said, “The first Covid-19 vaccination rollout for pregnant mothers kicked off by the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) Office in Piliyandala today.”

The vaccination for pregnant mothers also began in other districts, in line with the initial rollout in Piliyandala, Dr Silva added.

Earlier, the Sri Lankan advisory committee on communicable diseases of the health ministry recommended the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant women.

Army commander Shavendra Silva said last Thursday (3) that pregnant women will be given priority during vaccination.

The objective was to prevent pregnant mothers from having any major complications due to Covid infection and to reduce unfortunate deaths, Dr Silva said.