News

Covid-19 vaccination programme: 20-30 age group inoculation underway

  • Govt. plans to vaccinate O/L, A/L students next
  • At least 8.5 m doses to fully vaccinate schoolchildren

By Yumiko Perera

The Government plans to complete the vaccination of individuals between 20 to 30 years of age by the end of the month, Minister of Health Keheliya Rambukwella told The Sunday Morning.

The administration of Covid-19 vaccinations to the 20-30 age group began on Thursday (2), with implementation being carried out at district level.

The next target group eligible for the jab are those in the 16-19 age group, Rambukwella added.

“We will likely move to vaccinate the 16-19 (age) group, targeting students in the Ordinary Level (O/L) and Advanced Level (A/L) classes,” the Health Minister said, adding that with the inflow of more vaccines to the country, progress in getting the public inoculated will speed up.

Speaking during a discussion with the Public Services United Nurses’ Union on Thursday, Rambukwella noted that those between the ages of 18 and 30 make up nearly 3.7 million of the total population.

He urged the public to get inoculated with whichever vaccine is available, at the earliest, without waiting for specific vaccines.

The Health Minister explained that all frontline healthcare workers as well as a considerable number of persons working in essential service industries, such as garment factory workers, who also fall under the 20-30 age group, have been inoculated.

Meanwhile, the Government has made plans to administer the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to schoolchildren once Health Ministry approval is received, the President’s Media Division (PMD) stated in a press release recently.

Speaking with The Sunday Morning, Ministry of Education Secretary Prof. Kapila Perera elaborated that the country has a population of 4.2 million schoolchildren between the ages of six and 18, and highlighted that at least 8.5 million vaccination doses would be required to fully immunise the student population.

“There are approximately 4.2 million schoolchildren in the country from grades one to 13. We hope the student population too would be immunised as soon as possible,” he added.

According to the Epidemiology Unit, approximately 77% of the population above the age of 30 has been fully immunised as of Friday (3).