20-30s must be fully vaccinated for 70% total vaccination

  • Health Ministry/SLMA urge youth expediency

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

The Health Ministry and the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) have urged the youth community to obtain the Covid-19 vaccines as soon as possible, as the population between the ages of 20 and 30 must be vaccinated to meet the target of vaccinating about 70% of the total population of the country against Covid-19.

There were recent reports that certain youths are reluctant to obtain the Covid-19 vaccines due to certain misconceptions.

However, when contacted by The Morning, Health Ministry Communications Director, Public Health Services Deputy Director General (DDG), and Disaster Preparedness and Response Division Head Dr. Hemantha Herath said that it was essential for those over the age of 20 years to be vaccinated in order to vaccinate a satisfactory proportion of the population of the country against Covid-19.

He also commented on reports that some youths are not obtaining Covid-19 vaccines such as the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine which is currently being given, with the intention of obtaining certain vaccines such as the Germany-US-manufactured Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

“We don’t have enough stocks of the vaccines that they are asking for, and we don’t have the data to confirm that a particular vaccine is providing super protection than the other vaccines. Therefore, at a time when there is a huge demand for vaccines, we call on the youths not to wait until a particular type of vaccine comes and to instead obtain whatever the Covid-19 vaccine that is made available to them,” he added. 

He also said: “There are two types of measles vaccines given to children. Of those two types, the one recommended by the Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases (ACCD) is imported, but when it is given, the parents don’t ask for the other type to be given instead of what is being given. Therefore, when obtaining Covid-19 vaccines too, don’t wait for a specific vaccine.”

Meanwhile, addressing a media briefing recently, SLMA President Dr. Padma Gunaratne stated that if 70% of the population in the country is to be vaccinated against Covid-19, 100% of the population over the age of 20 years should be vaccinated.

“If they don’t obtain the vaccine and are infected with Covid-19, those who are immunocompromised in their homes can be infected. Therefore, we urge the youth community to obtain the vaccines as a responsible group,” she added.

Meanwhile, claiming that youths in certain areas are reluctant to obtain the Covid-19 vaccines due to a rumour that the receipt of such vaccines would result in impotence and sub-fertility which is currently spreading on social media platforms, Production, Supply, and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals State Minister Prof. Channa Jayasumana recently said that there was no truth to such claims.

“In some areas, young people are reluctant to obtain vaccines. One reason for this is the misconception that Covid-19 vaccines cause impotence and sub-fertility. Accordingly, we looked into this, and no such thing has been reported in the world so far. There is no truth in such claims,” he had stated.