Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
11 Jan, 2021 | 8:04 am
COLOMBO (News 1st): COVID-19 vaccination in Sri Lanka could be launched by next month, where people could receive the jab by mid or end of February, State Ministry of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control said.
“Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga who was appointed as the Head of the Committee on the Procurement of the COVID-19 vaccine is currently in discussion with the government of India to obtain the Oxford AztraZeneca vaccine which provides more than 90% immunity against the virus,” Dr. Sudharshani Fernandopulle, the State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics, and COVID Disease Control told News 1st on Monday (Jan. 11).
Moreover, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the vaccine to be provided to the prioritized target groups free of charge, she noted.
State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle was also hopeful that through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organisation, Sri Lanka may obtain doses of the PfizerBioNTech vaccine as well.
“The prevailing infrastructure is currently being enhanced in order to facilitate the storage of both vaccines,” Dr. Fernandopulle noted.
According to the State Minister, the vaccine will be first administered to the frontline healthcare workers, Tri-Forces and Police, followed by senior citizens above the age of 60 years; vulnerable communities with complications will also receive the jab once the rollout begins.
Among the target groups prioritized are the workforce that directly impacts the country’s economy.
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