The Importance of the Third Dose for the Covid-19 Vaccination

The Ministry of Health is running a vaccination campaign to protect Sri Lanka from the outbreak of measles, mumps, and rubella.

The Importance of the Third Dose for the Covid-19 Vaccination

The first two doses of the vaccine are being given to children between the ages of 12 and 14 months. The third dose will be given for free for all children aged six months to five years. The Covid-19 vaccine is the only available protection against the outbreak of measles, mumps, and rubella in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Health has urged parents to make sure their children receive this last dose before it’s too late.

What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is a measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. It was given to children between the ages of five and 18 months as of October 2017. The Ministry of Health issued a national immunization schedule for the vaccine in 2017. The population-based vaccination campaign targeting children under five years of age will take place from 2 October 2017 to 23 April 2018 in the five districts, including Kandy, Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, and Gampaha. Parents who wish to vaccinate their children before the national immunization campaign begins in these districts can take them to health centers. Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) are a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening viral infections that people can contract through the air or direct contact with an infected person.

Why is the third dose important?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that up to 75% of the children with the highest vaccination rates can still contract measles in an outbreak. These children were more likely to have been vaccinated, had less measles antibodies and lived in communities that had low vaccination rates. Children who have not received the vaccine are still vulnerable to the virus. It’s estimated that only 30% of Sri Lankan children receive the measles vaccine. The question is whether it’s enough. The Department of Health has said that it will be providing vaccination for free to students in state schools and colleges starting in April. However, it is not clear whether it will be made available at community clinics and pharmacies.

Where do I get the vaccine?

The ministry has issued a list of government hospitals that provide the vaccination to children and mothers in private clinics. Narcotransfusion Center Queen Elizabeth Hospital A.J. Wahalakoon Clinic Old Government Hospital Katugastota Civil Hospital Hajiyawala Clinic Galkissa Public Hospital Kapugastota Pharmacy Government Hospital Samanalee Mahinda Medical Complex Good Hope Hospital Mother Baby Nursing Home Gollala Clinic Padiyathalawa Clinic Mathangawatte Pharmacy Matugama clinic Sanathali Hospital Sri Sathya Sai Hospital Doctors of Medicine Nefeli Clinic Plantation Road Pharmacy Sivananda Clinic Do you know where else to get the vaccine?

What are the side effects of the vaccination?

The vaccine does not guarantee protection against measles, mumps, rubella, or whooping cough. Some children will experience a mild fever and sore throat within a day or two after the injection. The sore throat will go away in a few days. Some children may have a low-grade fever of 10 to 100 degree Fahrenheit for the first two or three days after the vaccination. This will then go away. In rare cases, children may experience vomiting, a severe fever, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle aches. Some children may experience a high fever and a runny nose a few days after the vaccination. In some cases, these symptoms can lead to more serious complications, such as pneumonia, ear infections, and difficulty breathing. These complications have occurred in unvaccinated children.


The world continues to struggle with disease outbreaks, and the alarming cases of measles occurring recently in Europe have already sparked fear and protest. These outbreaks are a wakeup call for public health officials in Africa and in Asia to get to work on developing effective vaccines to prevent these diseases.