Dr Ananda Wijewickrama, a leading physician in the front line of Covid control in Sri Lanka, has resigned from the technical advisory committee on Covid in the Ministry of Health, Health Ministry sources said. The sources said that the immediate reason for the resignation was the disappointment over the Director-General of Health Services’ decision to administer the Pfizer vaccine to people between the ages of 20 and 30 in Hambantota without any scientific background.
Recognized as a decisive physician in the management of Covid patients in this country, this specialist is one of the medical experts who represent several technical committees on Covid disease control. Experts representing those technical committees were of the opinion that it would be more appropriate to give the Sinopharm vaccine to a group between the ages of 18 and 30, and that its scientific purpose was to save the Pfizer vaccine for at-risk groups. However, a number of medical associations, including representatives of the Technical Committee, as well as the Sri Lanka Medical Association, the GMOA and the Government Medical Officers’ Association, have objected to the Director-General of Health Services releasing 50,000 Pfizer vaccines to people of that age group in the Hambantota district, undermining that scientific basis.
Specialist Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama also served as a member of the Vaccine Evaluation Committee of the National Drug Regulatory Authority and was pressured by some to approve a Chinese vaccine that is not yet in use in Sri Lanka, sources said.
However, Lankasara tried to contact Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama, a specialist, but he did not answer the phone.