(Photo: Jane Barlow - WPA Pool/Getty Images).

At least three Sri Lankans have died of blood clots after receiving the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine against the Covid-19, the country’s Health Minister told Parliament on Wednesday.

Pavithra Wanniarachchi, replying to an Opposition query in Parliament, said that at least six people had complained of having blood clots after the vaccination.

Wanniarachchi, who herself received the same jab, quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) as saying that the vaccine was not the cause for blood clots.

The WHO earlier this month said that a link between the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and clots is “plausible” but “very rare”, based on the nearly 200 million people who have received the jab globally.

Since Sri Lanka rolled out its vaccination programme on January 29 on the receipt of a free gift from the Indian government, some 925,000 of its 21 million population have been vaccinated.    Currently, Sri Lanka awaits its ordered vaccine consignment from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

According to the officials, some 300,000 doses are reserved for the second jab which would be given from May. Sri Lanka has so far reported 97,105 coronavirus cases and 620 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.