Sri Lanka’s COVID vaccination drive in final stages, state minister says

Sri Lanka’s COVID vaccination drive in final stages, state minister says

October 23, 2021   10:59 pm

The government is aiming to complete vaccination of the 16 - 19 age group within this month, with the booster dose roll out for selected groups to start on November 01, says the State Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals.

Addressing the media today (October 23), Prof. Channa Jayasumana said Sri Lanka’s vaccination drive is in its final stages now.

The country has so far completely inoculated more than 13 million people, and this translates to 59.5 percent of the overall population.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, 89.2 percent of Sri Lanka’s population aged 20 years and above have also been fully vaccinated against the virus.

As the country moves to completely vaccinate its entire population, inoculations targeting children aged 16 – 19 years of age, children aged 12 and above with co-morbidities and the 20 - 29-year age group are being conducted simultaneously.

Since vaccinations for children of 18 - 19 years of age began island on Thursday (October 21), a total of 139,000 students have received the COVID shots.

The state minister also spoke of the plans to roll out the booster dose for frontline health workers and security personnel engaged in COVID prevention activities. The program is expected to kick off on November 01.

“The President also instructed us to vaccinated people engaged in the tourism sector. This is because we expect tourists from Europe and the United States to visit the island as the winter season starts. We also plan to administer the Pfizer vaccine as the third dose.

Purchase orders have been placed of Pfizer vaccines required for the booster dose roll out, he added.

Sri Lanka is the first country in the South Asian region to begin the administration of booster dose, he added.

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