Vaccine and Communicable Diseases Committee

The Vaccine and Communicable Diseases Committee was established to address the challenges and issues related to vaccine-preventable diseases in Sri Lanka. In response to a recent measles epidemic driven by vaccine hesitancy, the committee focuses on strategic interventions, the role of the Sri Lanka College of Paediatricians (SLCP) in vaccine-related matters, and the potential introduction of new vaccines in the country.

Key Initiatives

Addressing the Measles Epidemic and Vaccine Hesitancy

The committee was initially formed to tackle the measles epidemic resulting from vaccine hesitancy. By promoting public awareness and education, the committee aims to restore confidence in vaccinations and increase immunization coverage. Collaborative efforts with healthcare providers and community leaders are essential to counteract misinformation and encourage vaccine acceptance.


Role of SLCP in Vaccine-Related Issues

The committee actively discusses and defines the role of SLCP in addressing vaccine-related issues. This includes providing expert guidance on vaccination policies, advocating for comprehensive immunization programs, and supporting initiatives to improve vaccine coverage and equity across the country.


Introduction of New Vaccines

The committee is exploring the feasibility of introducing new vaccines in Sri Lanka to enhance the country’s immunization program. Some of the vaccines under consideration include:

Pneumococcal Vaccine: To protect against pneumococcal diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis.

Takeda Dengue Vaccine: To prevent dengue fever, a significant public health concern in Sri Lanka.

Adolescent Pertussis Vaccine: To safeguard adolescents against pertussis (whooping cough), reducing disease transmission and complications.


Policy Recommendations on BCG Vaccination

Another crucial initiative by the committee is the formulation of a policy to defer Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination in neonates with suspected immunodeficiency. The committee is working with the Ministry of Health to issue a circular advising healthcare providers to withhold BCG vaccination until confirmatory investigations are completed. This measure aims to prevent potential adverse effects in immunocompromised infants.



The Vaccine and Communicable Diseases Committee plays a pivotal role in addressing vaccine-preventable diseases in Sri Lanka. By combating vaccine hesitancy, defining SLCP’s role in vaccine advocacy, introducing new vaccines, and implementing prudent vaccination policies, the committee is committed to enhancing the nation’s public health infrastructure and safeguarding the health of its pediatric population.