The Sri Lankan Health Ministry has come under some pressure by the opposition over the Rubella Vaccination Program that has seen two school girls die soon after being vaccinated.
Questions are also being raised over the quality of the vaccine, which is manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India. However Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva has dismissed doubts over the quality of the vaccine, stating that they were of international standards and there was nothing wrong with the vaccine that was given to the girls.
The latest death came just a few days ago when a school girl from Wariyapola in northern Sri Lanka died following complications that arose soon after the Rubella vaccine was given. Back in March this year, another girl had died in similar circumstances and though the vaccination program was halted pending quality checks, it soon resumed with the Sri Lankan government stating that there was nothing wrong with the vaccine but instead the person who administered the vaccine was not qualified to do so.
The health ministry has again suspended the vaccination program and this time the opposition has announced that it will not be content with just the quality checks of the vaccine. Instead they want the government to restructure the vaccination program so that each patient will undergo a rubella antibody test and if it is found that the patient has natural immunity to the virus, then she will be exempt from taking the vaccine.